Many times I’ll learn of a celebrity’s passing on Facebook, because a lot of my Facebook friends are film buffs, and they’ll post about it there first. When a good friend posted, “No, not Philip Seymour Hoffman,” it took a while for the news to sink in, just like any death, and cliché as it is to say it, it is truly a terrible loss.To a lot of younger movie fans, they’ll know Hoffman from the Hunger Games movies where he played Plutarch Heavensbee, but a lot of film fans, like myself, discovered him from the Paul Thomas Anderson movies like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and most recently The Master. It was great to see Hoffman become an acclaimed actor from being part of PTA’s repertory company, then go on to win the Academy Award for playing Truman Capote.
Reports briefly surfaced last year that Hoffman had struggled with addiction, then you didn’t hear anything about it again after he went to rehab. I was also falsely under the impression that an actor on junk would have a hard time keeping up a big movie career, because it’s a very hard drug to function on.
Hoffman died with a week left of shooting for the next Hunger Games movie, and his passing won’t affect the movie’s release date. But this isn’t important in the grand scheme of things. Aaron Sorkin probably put it best when he said in a statement, “He was a wonderful man and my generation’s greatest actor, but three young kids lost their father and that’s all that matters.”