Monday, February 03, 2014

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

After taking a day to process the news that Phillip Seymour Hoffman died you start to look back at his legacy. The Academy Award winning actor was found yesterday morning dead of an apparent heroin overdose in his New York City Apartment. He was discovered by his good friend and screenwriter David Katz who was called by Phillips; girlfriend after Phillip failed to pick up their three kids in the morning. Katz called Hoffman's assistant to open the apartment door and they found the actor with a needle in his arm and ten heroin envelopes strewn around him. Two were empty and the others were full.

I loved how Hoffman could do anything in film. Probably my two favorite roles for him showed what kind of range he had. My favorite is his portrayal of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. His part was small but he was just so on and so dynamic with it and kept that movie together. Another role that I think showed off his ability to play anyone was the movie Flawless starring Robert DeNiro. Hoffman played a drag queen who helps DeNiro after DeNiro suffers a stroke. It is just a role that takes a special actor to want to even take on and he did so in an amazing way.

83 comments:

TalksTooMuch said...

I loved him in Almost Famous, and my other two favourites were Magnolia and Boogie Nights. He had the most amazing voice.

Seven of Eleven said...

RIP PSH. Sending my thoughts to his partner and their children, and to all who are struggling with addiction. Stay strong.

GPS74 said...

I know he was struggling, yet I am still shocked he is gone. I re-read Russell Brand's essay about addiction (http://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jul/24/russell-brand-amy-winehouse-woman) last night for some solace :/

Cleodacat said...

I find it difficult to mourn someone that for all intents commited suicide (by choosing to use drugs). Drug abuse is terrible but the individual CHOSE to go down that road and CHOSE to put himself in situations to relapse. The people I truly feel for are his children for whom ment little to him when compared to the high of heroin.

sandybrook said...

He was the ultimate character actor could do any part effortlessly.

LottaColada said...

I feel really sorry for his children. They're so young.

On a more selfish note, what are they going to do with Plutarch Heavansbee?

Dizzel said...

I don't know about this choosing business. Addiction is a disease that takes away your ability to make healthy choices, to have empathy, to have hope, to care. You drown in it. Heroin is NO JOKE. I personally believe it somewhat incapacitates people's ability to make a choice. It runs you. Inside and out.

Ms Cool said...

Actually, there is interesting information about heroin addiction from research done on Vietnam soldiers:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/02/144431794/what-vietnam-taught-us-about-breaking-bad-habits

I think people who hear the word "disease" when applied to drug addiction feel like that is a crutch. Most people who have a disease did not willingly participate in getting it.

libby said...

Lotta--Supposedly he had completed almost all of the next, and only had a week's shooting left on the final film.
(Is it Mockingjay 1 & 2???).
Anyway, the producers already released a statement that they have enough. I hope it's true and they can do justice to his final films.

Kristin said...

Enty, can we please skip any PSH blind reveal extravaganza you may have planned?
Thanks,
Everyone

Renoblondee said...

What caused him to relapse after 20 years I wonder? I feel for his kids and girlfriend.

figgy said...

I loved him in The Talented Mr. Ripley. One of my all time favorite actors. :-(

LottaColada said...

Thanks libby. It is Mockingjay, I didn't realize they had already touched on the subject.

figgy said...

I agree with Cleodacat.

And I'd add that addiction is a disease, but you only "catch" it by willingly taking drugs in the first place. I'd never try heroin because I'm sure I'd love it too much, just based on how much I have enjoyed pain medication when I had a couple surgeries.

Hate to quote Nancy Reagan, but I Just Said No. See how easy that is?

Cleodacat said...

My point is at some point and time he "chose" to try drugs and heroin and anyone that hasn't heard heroin, meth, coke, and crack are addicting are nonexistent.

libby said...

Yeah, Lotta. OF COURSE the blockbuster producers have to release a statement immediately. Those franchises have such rabid fans.

I'd like to hear from PT Anderson. And I'm really worried about Joaquin right now. He's lost too many good friends this way, let alone his brother.

Anna Katherine Nonymous said...

I absolutely adored him and his work especially in Flawless,in which he was truly flawless. g

__-__=__ said...

I recently watched 25th Hour again. He was great in that. Also Red Dragon and Big Lebowski.

cece said...

I am so glad that you've never had a reason to have to understand addiction. I truly hope you never have to. I say this in peace and sincerity.

MISCH said...

This made me so angry I just wanted to scream…what a waste…a terrible waste.

Jeannie said...

Agreed Cece. Those who have no grasp of what addiction can do to a person have no idea how lucky they are.

Jeannie said...

Apparently they filmed enough of his scenes to keep the part intact in the final Hunger Games movies.

Jennabean said...

Would be real decent of you , enty.

Cleodacat said...

Thank you Cece, what can I say, I grew up with Nancy Regan's "Just Say No" campaign and the "This is your brain on drugs" campaign but if you want to know the most effective campaign for me? Watching family members and friends throw their money, lives, and relationships away to chase that "high".

Anna Katherine Nonymous said...

I too am Really Upset about this death. FUCK YOU HEROIN! He was in the top five best of his generation easily. I just want to do a slow wall slide and wail about this one. FUCK!

Aeol said...

I think it's very sad you think addicts willingly make that choice. Clearly you don't understand the power of addiction. PSH had 23 years of sobriety, three children, a long term successful career, and the love, support, and respect of everyone around him; if that's not enough to show you what a terrible hold addiction can have over a person, I'm not sure what is. If anything, addicts deserve even MORE of your compassion and sympathy for being trapped in such a painful and potentially devastating spiral. Lucky for you you've never been held captive by the demons and pain that laws to addiction, but that doesn't give you the right to judge those who are.

Aeol said...

You're very naive if you think 1) addiction is limited to drugs and alcohol and 2) addiction is a "choice" that people make. I'm assuming you've never actually met an addict or bothered to understand their disease. It's not a choice, it's a compulsion or need.

Cleodacat said...

They made the "choice" when they decided to do drugs for the first time.

Mother Campfire said...

For those claiming its possible to Just Say No, please read this (and other scientific discussions): http://m.livescience.com/15563-addiction-defined-brain-disease.html

(Sorry I can't make it sticky)

Aeol said...

Congratulations! Lucky you don't suffer from any of the dozens of reasons that lead people into drug abuse and addiction, like family history, depression or mental illness, a physical injury that requires the use of pain medication and could potentially lead to addiction to other substances. Good thing life is as black and white as "just saying no."

mynerva said...

I hear what your saying but a huge part of addiction is compulsion. You can say no but someone with an addictive personality is compelled to say yes. I'm in no way giving addicts a pass. Addiction took one of my parents from me when I was a small child. But addicts just don't think or make decisions in the same way that you or I do.

Aeol said...

Who are you to judge or determine what that "choice" was all about? Some people aren't as strong as you when it comes to overcoming family history, mental illness or depression, or a physical injury that requires pain medication that could lead to addiction. God forbid you're in a car accident tomorrow and get prescribed meds for your physical pain, and then find yourself addicted to those meds. Until you've walked in someone else's shoes, you don't get to define what their "choice" was.

mizzavrid said...

Another tribute to Mr. Hoffman was his role in Along Came Polly. That role MADE that silly movie, see it again; he was brilliant. RIP, I loved you and didn't even know you.

a non a miss said...

He had 6 days of filming left on the 2nd part of Mockingjay.

Star said...

LOl He first came on my radar from Along Came Polly too. I will forever remember him as the Sharted guy!

portlandjewel said...

Sorry, it is possible to say no. Addiction has touched my life so don't start with the sarcastic "I hope you never..." Because I HAVE and I have NO sympathy for a junkie choosing drugs over his/her children. It's the epitome of selfish narcissism. It's always a tragedy whether it's a talented actor, veteran or stupid kid who thinks he's invincible... A self induced tragedy for those you've left behind.

Murielle said...

I can't think of any films where he wouldn't be just perfect. How sad that a man with such a fine talent is no more.
What a great filmography he had. And he seems a lovely man too.
I don't know why I find it so sad. Especially since we could read blinds about him in the past months. One always think that he could kick out his drug habit.

L'auteur said...

For those who really want to understand addiction and what it does to the brain (in layman's terms), get the video "Pleasure Unwoven" by Dr, Kevin McCauley.

Many people start being addicted when they are teens--it is MUCH tougher to say no during those years with peer pressure and lack of maturity.

Lisa said...

If this had to happen, thankful it happened when his kids were not in his custody. What makes him different from a junkie on the streets? Just wondering what kind of father his kids will really be missing... sad. Addiction is awful. Another example of having everything and having nothing at all.

Stephen Nicks said...

Yes its a choice. But newsflash! People make mistakes. Get over it. We can't all be as perfect as you.

Oopsy_Daisy said...

This.

Jessi said...

Aww man, I get the sads when people lack empathy.

sifichick said...

That first high IS a choice. I come from a VERY addiction prone family. I also have a crappy background. I am the perfect candidate for becoming an addict. I also had an injury where I had to take pain pills. I only took the pain pills when I couldn't take the pain anymore because 1. I really loved the pain pills and 2. I know my family history. I didn't want to become a slave to those pills. When I was in my early 20's I was with a group of friends who were all smoking a meth pipe. When it came around to me I passed it right along. I did it because I knew if I took one hit off that pipe I'd become addicted. I made a choice not to do it. It wasn't strength that made me pass that pipe. It was fear. Fear of letting that pipe rule over my life. Fear that even taking one hit could kill me. I understand addiction I've known many addicts so don't say I don't understand addiction.

Addiction IS a choice. You can say no for whatever reason suits you. After that initial choice it's either uphill for those that choose not to or downhill for those that choose to. Every single time you take a drug you're putting yourself in harms way and you know it. Especially with drugs like heroin. I'm getting sick of people blindly defending addicts. Yes it's a disease but it's a disease that the person decided to inflict on themselves.

AKM said...

I read somewhere that he was experiencing physical pain from some injury, started taking prescription meds, and slid back into the heroin last year. At the time he said he'd only been using the heroin for a week, recognized that he was in trouble, and put himself into rehab, which we all know. Coming back to it now isn't a strange occurrence for an addict, sadly.

At any rate, my point is that being in PHYSICAL PAIN -- and perhaps some emotional as well; it doesn't sound as though he and his partner were together -- led him back to heroin indirectly, and that's just fucking sad. I'll say it's sad and it's a waste, but I'll not judge. I've kicked cigarettes and Xanax myownself, and it's a painful and uncomfortable thing to do so; I can't imagine kicking heroin. RIP PSH.

Derek Harvey said...

I am shocked with how many people here have tried heroin?! I use to party in my youth and experimented with a few things but never considered HEROIN for f*ck sakes. I admire people for sharing their stories and all but I mean--HEROIN?--really? Also its kind of a double standard to mock people like Lindsay and Mischa for taking drugs but expecting to have sympathy for non-celebs etc.
ps. I also know many people who have been pretty heavy into substance abuse but never heroin. I dont think I know one single person that has (well admitted) to trying that dirty drug.

Ms Cool said...

Aeol, I would like to address your question "who we are to judge?"

It is possible to judge people and still have compassion. How else can we make decisions about what is good for ourselves and the ones we love?

I can easily look at PSH and judge that he absolutely made the wrong choice to try drugs in the first place, start them again, only stay in rehab for 10 days, and eventually kill himself with them. He did wrong to himself and he wronged those that loved and needed him (especially his three GRADE SCHOOL aged children). I am judging, judging, judging because it is unfathomable to me that someone will all the means in the world did not get the help he needed.

I am judging by saying to myself, "I will never try heroin or any other addictive drug." That includes cigarettes. That includes willingly avoiding alcohol in my early 20's after my boyfriend died for fear that numbing the pain might cause addiction problems.

I am also completely compassionate to him for not being able to get past this issue. So sorry for his loss of life and the loss of his work for those of us who enjoyed it. I am most sorry for those he left behind, who will forever be tormented by his death - his little children who will cling to anything related to their father for the rest of their lives.

If addiction has such the power that you mention, clearly you must think that a large amount of the people here have been touched by it some way or another. Many of us have been hit by tough things in life including mental illness yet have not turned to drugs. You have no idea how tough it is to walk in anyone else's shoes either. Some people pick themselves up and move on while others while away hiding through use of drugs or some other excuse.

While you were on here ranting, did you happen to look at the link I posted earlier? I will link to it again:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/02/144431794/what-vietnam-taught-us-about-breaking-bad-habits

20% of American soldiers became addicted to heroin in Vietnam. When they came back to the USA, only 5% of those addicted actually returned to using heroin. It was within their control - this is a staggering statistic. The thought is (and this is simplified) that the environment plays a huge factor in what causes people to have an emotional addiction.

Nothing is simple and what causes people to start drugs and continue them is very complex. But the fact is, we can judge people who make that choice knowing how bad it is in the first place. I don't think it is a secret that doing drugs is not good for you. How else can we make the right decisions for ourselves? We judge all the time, including you - who came on here to judge all of us who were judging him.

KaynKay said...

PSH was amazing. I was in tears after finding out about his death yesterday. Sadly, his work ends, and the pain of his family and loved ones continues.

I wish that Heroin would go out of vogue - I know it has come back across the country. I just don't know what needs to happen for people to see the pain it causes. I'm so alarmed by reading of the rampant drug use in H-wood, and I feel like it is growing in incidence and almost glamorization in movies, TV, and on cable. And I say this as someone who is not squeaky clean, smoked pot, etc.

PSH - Godspeed and you'll always be know as one of my fav actors, and the best I have grown up with.

Long time lurker in the CDAN community, first time poster.

Cindy said...

I thought he was great in Twister and amazing in Doubt. He could play any role and make you believe the character. This is heartbreaking, but not altogether unexpected.

auntliddy said...

Stephen-im not sure addicts have a choice.

Kels said...

Just because YOU could fight it doesn't mean we all can. I find it interesting that everyone seems to think they've met every single addict and that they know all their stories when you don't. Everyone is different. I smoke to help my PTSD. Some don't. Some take heroin. Some don't. You never know what demons these people are battling....

Anothergrayhare said...

Thanks Ms. Cool. Very well written. I'll read that link when I have some time today. I see both sides, Some people have addictive personalities, others can pick and choose when to say no. Some choose drugs to escape other issues, some don't. I lost a brother-in-law to a drug overdose. He had support and love and all the rest, but he chose to buy more cocaine, instead of calling his NA sponsor, leaving everyone around him devastated. I'd love to hear how recovering addicts do it. How do you "just say no" for the rest of your life. I applaud all those who do. And that's a beautiful photo of Mr. Hoffman.

LottaColada said...

Geez, I hope they can make it work.

Faith said...

Come on Enty, at least spell his name right! PHILIP! PHILIP! NOT PHILLIP!

Derek Harvey said...

People have to take responsibility for THEIR OWN actions. Yes some people have harder lives than others but that is no excuse. Drugs like heroin are illegal and cause society tons of tax payers money on healthcare and petty crime. Some people think abusing their partner is a way for them to relieve stress and anxiety--does not make it right. No one can live someones elses lives for them and when someone like a famous actor gets sympathy for this instead of the truth about him being a moron-then I get really annoyed. You think he was a nice guy to others during the years of his addiction/ He probably caused many people pain and ruined many other lives in his addiction. Junkies are selfish and cruel people so save your sympathy for people that truly need and deserve it.

Rome said...

He was clean for 22 years. The guy succumbed to a disease and assholes are ripping him over it. Just despicable.

Aeol said...

Is it okay for me to say "I hope you never relapse?" PSH had 23 years of sobriety, was actively involved in helping others battle their addictions, and like you, probably believed and/or hoped that his family, children, friends, career, etc was enough to keep him on the straight and narrow. You should know better than most that healing from addiction is a lifelong process that never ends.

Amartel said...

X to what Kristin said at 6:48.
Thanks for the "Uncool" scene. PSH had a lot of great parts but that one's going to be the one that reverberates with everyone.
RIP

Aeol said...

I think you're overthinking my comments a little bit. I'm not an expert, neither are you, and linking to one article about soldiers from Vietnam when drugs were a completely different composition than what they are today, doesn't make you an expert. If you think my comments are rants, you clearly haven't spent much time on the Internet. My only point is addiction is never as simple as "you made the choice, so therefore you're a waste of a human being." I'm talking about compassion and you're talking about blame.

Ms Cool said...

Aeol, that was not just one article - it was a valid study that has changed the thought about heroin's addictiveness. Have you even read it? And I certainly don't believe I am an expert.

It is possible to have compassion and blame in all of this. The only person responsible for PSH for taking heroin was PSH.

My heart is very tender towards him and all people who use drugs and die. I feel less tenderness when they take other people with them, either physical or emotionally. Then my tenderness and the whole of my compassion lies with the victims around them. One of the people involved in this mess is to blame more than the others.

Things aren't black and white and there are very few people on here saying he was a waste of a human being. Many people come at this with their own personal histories and have valid reactions.

I spent time writing a response to you so that I did not come across as dispassionate. You are the one coming onto this blog and name-calling the people who don't subscribe to your beliefs.

teresa crane said...

All things aside, I hope he is finally at peace.

You'll be missed dearly PSH.

Runswithscissors said...

=(. I saw not too long ago "A Late Quartet", Christopher walken is in it too. Liked PHS in it. I recommend the film. Even in such simple roles, he shines so much. Maybe the role seems simple because he made acting look so effortless. Such talent. At least he leaves behind a great legacy of films, there are so many. Never stopped working.
He also leaves behind such beautiful daughters.
May he rest in peace.

Runswithscissors said...

Sorry, correction, three children, so sad for them.

Murphy said...

I found out about this in the middle of a jet blue flight from Tampa to Hartford. Cried more than the 2 month old in the seat next to me.

Murphy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina Mallette said...

Sorry I have never done a drug stronger than Tylenol 3 for post-op pain and it made me nauseous and never taken one again.

But the choosing your addiction over your family stuff shows a severe lack of empathy, lack of understanding of addiction and mental illness, and indeed hypocrisy because most of us are addicted to something or engaging in behaviour that affects our health and/or the welfare of our families esp if we have children. I mean the list is too long for me to post. You may not die from it tomorrow and you may not bankrupt your family doing it, unless it's shopping or gambling. Anyone who has tried to lose a lot of weight or quit smoking cigarettes knows how hard it is. Try a drug far more potent. Maybe you should have walked away from that first ciggy, maybe you should have walked away from that first Big Mac. Did you know that caffeine is not good at all for some people?
If anyone here is that perfect that they have never ever made one single bad choice in their life or ever struggled to make changes in the their life, I guess I can't argue with you then. Just hope you are not in any profession where empathy is required.

TheTruthIsOutThere said...

PSH was a good actor. Too bad he didn't just play the role of a sober non-addicted person in his real life. He'd still be alive!

Krissie said...

I wonder what made him relapse. Twenty-three years is a *long* time to go without drugs and then just start up again.

selina kyle said...

He was shooting up before picking up his kids for the day. That is the saddest fucking thing ever.

Sophia said...

He gave me the creeps..but RIP.

selina kyle said...

Please don't compare marijuana to heroin. Thats what's wrong with this country!

Count Jerkula said...

Is PSH's baby momma hot? I may be willing to help comfort her in these trying times.

Gabi said...

Thank Count, made me smile through this devastating sad blog...

Alicia said...

Aeol - thank you. I couldn't have summed that up more eloquently .. You pretty much sumized the story of my life. Car accident, pain meds , two rehabs and kids to boot. Some people don't have to hit rock bottom to find their low. I had a successful business, cars..by all means on the surface I was fine. Opiates took a hold of me in ways I couldn't imagine. I'm on the other side now but never a day goes by that I don't think I could be one of the six friends I've lost in the last two years due to opiate abuse. Bless all of you struggling.

Rose said...

Using drugs is a choice. Getting addicted is not. Addiction is not a choice. How you deal with it is a choice, but certainly not easy choices for someone who is addicted.

Alexa Rose said...

I LOVED him in Almost Famous too. In fact, I can't think of a movie I didn't love him in. May he RIP and may his family find some sort of closure.

Sophoclesgirl5 said...

Thank You Aeol and Alicia!

__-__=__ said...

Now I remember him in that movie! Too funny!!

Jacq said...

I think it's a choice to use in the beginning, so I partially concede your point. However, once someone gets beyond that point, they're in the grip of addiction; which truly is a disease and choice goes out the window - in that respect, I think that what you're saying is harsh and unfair. Even if you think it's a choice, if you've ever watched anyone go down that road... I'll just say it'd still break your damn heart.

B said...

My favorite performance of his is in an amazing film called "Happiness".

Nina Roux said...

Also, it's very easy to judge an addict's use of drugs when you yourself are not an addict. Can you have one glass of wine and be satisfied? An alcoholic cannot. So while that first sip is a very poor choice for an alcoholic, the next is not a choice it's a given. Don't you think if it were as easy as just not doing it that he and millions of other addicts would make that choice based on what they had to lose? Of course they would. I find most people who judge addicts have no understanding of addiction. If you would like to understand better, go sit in some open AA meetings or Narcotics Anonymous meetings- you will walk away enlightened and truly educated, and above all else, compassionate.

Nina Roux said...

Here's how: one day at a time we find the willingness to admit we are powerless over that substance. And in so admitting we find the humility to ask for help.

Anothergrayhare said...

@Nina, thank you for answering my question. I have been to AA meetings with a friend -- I was absolutely shocked at a story told by a nun of how she woke up in a gutter -- and I consider myself a very compassionate individual. It's just so frustrating to watch someone throw it all way, and I wonder what the difference is for those who choose to stay in recovery as opposed to giving in to the pull of the addiction. God Bless you in your journey.

Anothergrayhare said...

throw it "away" obviously.