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Two Cents: Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Derek Kademian, Feature Editor

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In the past 15 years, movie goers have had the chance to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s talent showcased on the big screen. The 46 year old actor died last week surrounded by heroin and used syringes.

Hoffman had four Oscar nominations and won in 2006 for his depiction of Truman Capote in Capote. Known for playing characters with a lot of depth, Hoffman was regarded as one of the strongest character actors in the industry.

“If there’s one thing I really respected about him, it is that he was a great character actor, which seems to be a dying breed of actors,” junior media communications major Joseph Robinson said.

Hoffman struggled with addiction issues during his years in college. Twenty years later, in May of 2013, he relapsed and went to rehab for heroin.

“It was pretty shocking because you couldn’t tell from the surface whether or not he had an addiction problem,” junior communications major Christina Cuduco said.

Hoffman starred in over 50 films, many of which were Oscar nominees and big budget films.

“The first time I really noticed him was when he played the villain in Mission Impossible III. After that, I started seeing him pop up all over the place,” senior environmental studies major James Ward said.

Films like The Big Lebowski and Boogie Nights were milestones in his career that landed him many supporting character roles.

“It was rare that you would see him in lead roles, but when he was, he did phenomenally, I thought his interpretation of Capote was breathtaking,” Ward said.

Hoffman is survived by his two daughters.

My Two Cents:

Phillip Seymour Hoffman was by far one of the most underrated actors of our time. From his time in the theater to his groundbreaking supporting roles in films, Hoffman was a pivotal member of the acting community.

His ability to transcend into any character, regardless of their era, speaks volumes of his versatility. Growing up watching his films, I saw Hoffman become one of the most respected actors in the industry, which was well deserved.

I think a lot of people may not remember him as well as, say, Tom Cruise or George Clooney because of his versatility. As I mourned his loss this past week, I tried speaking to a number of students about it. In return, I received weak or neutral feedback about the actor.

Reactions spanned between “I didn’t know him that well” to “Yeah, he was good, it’s a shame,” and I couldn’t quite figure out why people were reacting this way.

Hoffman played so many different roles, some comedic and some villainous. His chameleon-like approach to acting made him blend so often that it would almost make him forgettable. Seeing him in one role and then doing the polar opposite probably caused confusion to some.

The first time I saw Hoffman was in The Big Lebowski, which happens to be one of the films that inspired me to pursue a career in film. Years later his chemistry between Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in The Master reaffirmed my opinions.

Rest in peace Phillip Seymour Hoffman. You will not be forgotten.

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