David Carr’s circa 2008 thoughts about Philip Seymour Hoffman generated, deservedly, a lot of attention. Today comes another equally wonderful journalist-POV remembrance from Entertainment Weekly senior film writer Anthony Breznican.
The stakes here – beginning circa 2007 – are equally high, as reflected by the headline “The Night Philip Seymour Hoffman Changed My Life…“. We’re not going to spoil the details; you’ll have to read Breznican’s item to get the full brunt of this vivid trajectory.
To set the scene, the writer recalls that he and his wife Jill sat across from Hoffman for a restaurant dinner at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival promoting The Savages:
While the actor wasn’t into talking about himself or movies, he loved talking about novels and stories: We discussed John Updike, Philip Roth and Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter, and soon we were getting comfortable with each other. The conversation shifted to family. Hoffman and his longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell, had a toddler son at the time — they would go on to have two more children — and my wife and I were then thinking about having children ourselves…
Many of the pronouncements made by Hoffman that night and later on are today extremely bittersweet to read. A reminder of how the tide can turn suddenly at any time for someone who was once, always, an addict.
The best part of Breznican’s related encounter, which took place when he was still with USA TODAY, is that it continues in a manner that duplicates the three-act construct of Hoffman’s film work. Too bad we somehow can’t go back and erase the shocker, twist ending. RIP.