The Poetry of Philip Seymour Hoffman

All these months later, it still seems incomprehensible. Philip Seymour Hoffman is no longer with us.

ShutterstockPhiliSeymourHoffmanVenice2012

Over the weekend in The Guardian, playwright and very good friend David Bar Katz (he and Hoffman used to have coffee every morning after dropping off their kids to school) shared a prose poem about Hoffman. It is a must-read, spanning Katz’s celebration of the actor’s mastery of the “non-coerced and generous apology,” as well as this foreshadowing:

I saw Phil in his first professional theater role. A production of King Lear at a small theater in the middle of New Jersey.

Phil played Edgar. And in one scene he was buck naked. I enjoyed teasing him about that. I thought we made eye contact that night. And like so many in the audience, I felt like I was the naked one.

PhilipSeymourHoffmanOralHistoryMeanwhile, earlier this month by way of Grantland’s “Paul Thomas Anderson Week,” there was Hoffman once more, magically chiming in to the oral history of Boogie Nights. From an interview given to the site in July of 2012:

Thomas Jane: In between set-ups, all the actors would sit on the floor, all around Burt Reynolds in a big puffy chair. Luis Guzmán and the Roller Girl girl and all of us, ya know, we’d all be there. We’d all sit down and Burt would tell stories about acting in the ’50s and New York City and Marlon Brando and James Dean.

Hoffman: When you work with some of the Hollywood icons, it can be a little challenging for everybody else. They expect and are entitled to a certain amount of respect by virtue of their years of producing these interesting characters.

[Photo of Hoffman at premiere of The Master at 2012 Venice International Film Festival: Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock.com]

Previously on FishbowlNY:
David Carr Remembers the Time Philip Seymour Hoffman Wrestled Rainn Wilson
EW Writer Shares Three-Act Philip Seymour Hoffman Memory
In Praise of Philip Seymour Hoffman