As you’re all aware by now, Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead yesterday at the age of 46, after an apparent heroin overdose. We’re not very good at expressing sincere emotion on this site, so if you need somebody to tell you how amazing Hoffman was and what he meant to cinema, just read this tribute or watch this interview. What we can do is point you to five videos that capture Hoffman’s brilliant essence, all of which you probably haven’t seen before. Pour one out for a true master, and enjoy…
Thanks to his roles in Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and The Master, Philip Seymour Hoffman became well-known for his association with director Paul Thomas Anderson. But unless you’re a die-hard fan of Anderson, you probably missed his 1996 feature-film debut Hard Eight, which features Hoffman as a keyed-up redneck at a craps table. Hoffman is in the flick for exactly one scene, and yet his crazy cameo is the only thing I still remember about this movie. Shaka-laka-do. Shaka-laka-doobie-doobie-do.
Speaking of Paul Thomas Anderson films, Hoffman had a role in 2002′s Punch Drunk Love as the skeevy mattress-store owner who told Adam Sandler to shut, shut, shut, shut, shut up. The fake commercial you see above — included as a DVD extra for the movie — shows Hoffman’s character cutting a local TV promo, then bouncing off a stack of mattresses directly onto his face in a parking lot. Unless there’s some camera-trickery at work here, Philip Seymour Hoffman took a bump that would make Mankind proud…for a DVD extra. That’s a real artist, right there.
Hoffman won a Best Actor Oscar for his fragile, understated portrayal of gay literary icon Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic Capote. Anyway, here’s Hoffman as a catty drag queen brawling with other drag-queen stereotypes in Flawless, back in 1999. (Click here to see Hoffman do some actual acting in the movie opposite Robert De Niro.)
In one of Hoffman’s loosest, funniest talk-show appearances, Craig Ferguson interviews the actor about Jack Goes Boating — a 2010 indie movie that Ferguson admits right away that he hasn’t watched. Hilarity ensues. Plus, Hoffman explains what “off-Broadway” really means and shares stories from his Twister days. At the 12:20 mark, Ferguson asks Hoffman about his drug use in a way that was playful at the time and pretty damn uncomfortable now.
Finally, here’s Hoffman on the set of The Master, trying (and failing) to deliver the line “I Like Kools…the minty flavor” without cracking up. Even for a consummate professional such as himself, it’s a task beyond his powers. This is the way I’d like to remember Philip Seymour Hoffman — laughing, smoking Kools, and doing great work with like-minded artists. Thanks for the memories, good sir.
For further viewing: Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a creepy pervy jerk [supercut]