Saint Genesius, the patron saint of actors, is surely looking down at the world in sorrow. This morning, we lost one of the most talented actors this earth has ever known. Philip Seymour Hoffman, rest in peace.
My heart aches for this loss. It may sound absurd to feel this distraught over a figure I never knew personally – but his work was personal to me. Whether it was Almost Famous or Twister or The Talented Mr. Ripley or Capote or The Master or any number of his other projects – PSH was subliminal in every role I’ve ever seen. On my long list of actor heroes, he was very very close to the top. When you’ve observed someone like that in so many films over so many years, especially someone as gifted as him, it does become personal. There is an undeniable familiarity.
Is it crazy that I cried actual tears upon hearing the news? Maybe it is. Maybe I’m crazy. (I am.) However, I don’t find it unusual at all to feel grief following the loss of a public figure like him. Someone so revered in his art. It’s shocking when someone you’ve viewed over the course of so many years is suddenly no longer breathing, whether that was in person or not. At least we’ll always have his past works to keep watching. What a legacy that has been left behind!
I didn’t know him. I didn’t know the man he was off screen. I didn’t know how he took his coffee or liked his eggs in the morning. I don’t yet know how he left us. What I do know is that he was a master of his craft and there will never be another actor walking the face of the earth like him. A gem most rare.
I need time to grieve for this one. I’ll start with one of my favorites, my dearest Almost Famous and my beloved Lester Bangs.