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Philip Seymour Hoffman

**Originally written in February 2014**

Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of those actors who could devour any scene without even trying. Every time he is on screen, the audience pays attention. Sure, he's had a lot of angry/gruff roles over the years that could grab the attention of even the most casual of movie watchers. But his presence, even in the most non-dominant of roles (ala Boogie Nights), casts such a heavy weight that it feels almost impossible to look away. Even in the weakest of movies (and to be honest, he didn't have too many of those), his performance is always on point. And that, to me, is what I can only describe as a sign that he was meant to be an actor. I never knew the guy personally, but how could he of been anything else?

When it comes to watching a movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman, there's never a doubt in my mind that he's going to act the shit out of every single scene he's in. And he's an actor with a demeanour and stature that can only be described as unpredictable. In his earlier works, he was often cast as the weird and/or quirky character that didn't really fit in. But as his career progressed, filmmakers saw the genius that was Philip Seymour Hoffman, and began casting him in a broader breadth of roles. Yet, no matter how intense or tame these characters were, a sense of unpredictability still loomed in the background. Is this character going to shift gears and go bat-shit crazy in the next minute, or is he going to break down and cry like a baby? In the hands of a lesser actor, the answer might be obvious. But in the case of Philip Seymour Hoffman, even with the most obvious screenplay, it's always a mystery until it isn't.

My last theatrical memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman was from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I remember seeing him in the trailer, where he was only shown delivering a single line: 'I agree she should die, but in the right way. At the right time.' Hearing that in any movie, let alone a YA tentpole, has lame written all over it. Yet, when I first heard that in the trailer, I got goosebumps. I was morbidly disappointed in the first Hunger Games movie and thought that it was pretty much unwatchable after the first hour (see my previous post). In truth, I probably would've watched the sequel anyways because of Jennifer Lawrence, but after hearing that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be in it, and definitely after seeing him in the trailer, I knew I had to watch it. This is all but one example of how Philip Seymour Hoffman has been one of the sole reasons I watch a movie. To say that cinema has lost one the greats is an understatement. In fact, any statement would be an understatement. Philip Seymour Hoffman - thank you for gracing us with your presence in the world of cinema, and may you rest in peace.

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