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Philip Seymour Hoffman Edit Profile


Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American film and stage actor.


Philip Seymour Hoffman was born on 23 July 1967 in Fairport, New York, United States.


He made his debut in Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (91, Amos Poe); Scent of a Woman (92, Martin Brest); My New Gun (92, Stacy Cochran); Leap of Faith (92, Richard Pearce); My Boyfriend's Back (93, Bob Balaban); Nobody's Fool (94, Bobert Benton); The Getaway (94, Roger Donaldson); on TV in The Yearling (94, Rod Hardy); When a Man Loves a Woman (Luis Mandola); Hard Eight (96, Paul Thomas Anderson); Twister (96, Jan de Bont); Boogie Nights (97. Anderson); Happiness (98, Todd Solondz); The Big Lebowski (98, Joel Coen); Patch Adams (98, Tom Shadyac); Magnolia (99, Anderson); State and Main (00, David Mamet); Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (00, Cameron Crowe).


Philip Seymour Hoffman does not—he must have been told this often enough—seem like a movie star. He’s boyish but untidy, a little overweight, hopelessly immature. He’s all of those things as Freddie, the prep-school thug in The Talented Mr. Ripley (99, Anthony Minghella). Yet I’m not sure there’s been a better performance in recent years—so nasty yet so vulnerable, such a cross of Mussolini and Billv Bunter.

Freddie is on screen not much more than twenty minutes, and it’s easy to foresee Hoffman as a brilliant supporting actor. But in the year after Ripley, he alternated lead roles in Sam Shepard’s True West with John C. Beillv on Broadway; and he played the flamboyant drag queen in Flawless (00, Joel Schumacher), a film that had little purpose but to showcase a great actor.

That’s further proof, if anyone still needs it, of the gap between working for a Minghella and a Schumacher. Hoffman could be turned into an institution—but never properlv tested. He is so good that only the best material is going to help build our sense of him. Meanwhile, search him out, as you might Kevin Spacey. There is the same very dangerous talent at work—astounding, yet so pronounced it could help make its own prison.