The epic uncool of Philip Seymour Hoffman

January 30, 2015 10:03 PM

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When Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an accidental drug overdose on February 2, 2014 at age 46, it felt like a huge part of the past two decades of cinema had disappeared as well, as if all the wonderful characters he created were on some level buried with the man who played them. A shocked public experienced a profound double loss. They were mourning the Hoffman who took up such formidable real estate in many modern classics. But they were also mourning all the brilliant Hoffman performances to come, which were extinguished with Hoffman’s death.

It was shocking because of his private nature. He wasn’t a tabloid fixture or subject of gossip. He was an artist who lent the often ridiculous and ephemeral act of pretending to be other people an innate dignity. He wasn’t averse to big paychecks—he appeared in Mission: Impossible III and the Hunge...

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