Philip Seymour Hoffman is The Man With The Golden Touch


Philip Seymour Hoffman's characters are not easily erased from memory. The half-dressed loner making sex calls to strangers in Happiness or the nurse tending to Jason Robards in Magnolia would, on paper, be supporting roles. Hoffman, though, has a way of filling out ordinary folks until they burst with the hidden facets of their ordinariness—shame, tenderness, vengeance, adoration. Provocatively human, they force us to recognize shards of ourselves in their reflection. In Capote, for which he won an Oscar in 2006, Hoffman captured the writer with such graceful authority that audiences could almost mistake the film for a documentary.

Last year he portrayed a rumpled CIA agent in Charlie Wilson’s War, directed by Mike Nichols; a professor whose life is hijacked by his father’s dementia in The Savages; and a callous older brother whose get-rich-quick scheme targets the family jewelry store in Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. We’ll see him next in Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, and later in the year in the film version of Doubt, John Patrick Shanley’s play about a priest who may or may not have molested a student.

Hoffman, who is 41 and the artistic codirector of the LAByrinth Theater Company, lives in Greenwich Village with his girlfriend, Mimi O’Donnell, a costume designer, and their young children, Cooper and Tallulah. He talks to us about surviving the Oscars, being difficult, and riding his bike to the theater.

(Source: LA Magazine)

Actors, Interview

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