Sunday, February 2, 2014

Yes, he was great. What else to say?

Maybe later.

Maybe later, I'll write a longer piece about Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his apartment Sunday of an apparent drug overdose.

Maybe later, I'll say something about Hoffman's memorable work in movies such as The Master, Capote and Doubt. Let's defer talk about the way he made many different kinds of movies or about how he always seemed to be the most adventurous of actors. (See Synecdoche, New York. )

Maybe later, I'll try to remember what it was like to interview Hoffman at The Telluride Film Festival, where Capote showed. Maybe later I'll talk about all the other actors I've interviewed who've had nothing but the highest praise for him.

Today, the sun is shining in Denver. We're a few hours away from the Super Bowl, and it's enough to say that many actors are talented and good, but not all of them deserve to be called artists. He did.

I never thought of the 46-year-old Hoffman as being in any way dissolute. I didn't read last May's Variety article about Hoffman completing a detox program. I only dimly remember that in 2006, he appeared on 60 Minutes, where he said he'd been sober since he was 22.

I don't have a clue about what happened to Hoffman, but I know for sure that something has happened to us. We've lost an actor who enriched our culture.

So maybe later we'll talk more about Hoffman's career. For now, it's probably best to say little. If you know anything about movies, you hardly need reminding that Hoffman could dig deep.

All that can (and maybe should) be shared at this moment are feelings of shock and sadness. That's all I've got -- that and the knowledge of a major loss.

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