Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman is more than the Sum of One Actor.


Something has been gnawing at me about the unexpected death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I finally figured out what it was. Besides the fact that Mr. Hoffman was in his prime, and was able to bound back and forth from broadway to theatrical movies while receiving awards in both venues, there was something else that makes his loss deeply profound for the average movie goer who never met Mr. Hoffman but enjoyed his acting talent.

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the most decorated actors of our time who did not rely on guns as part of his own acting persona. Sure Mr. Hoffman appeared in movies with guns, but Mr. Hoffman as I recall was never publicized for his gun play or action hero panache, yet his characters still had relevance to virtually every movie he appeared in.

This is such a blow to people who are tired of all the gun "play" in movies. It further is a blow because Mr. Hoffman was still in the prime of his movie career and would most likely have dazzled for the next couple of decades without the need to brandish a gun.

For those of you who thought you might grow old watching an actor who rarely if ever relied on guns for his characters to have importance, you have been robbed. For those of you about to hit 50 who are tired of seeing our favorite actors brandishing guns, your future movie going choices may have just become leaner because of the premature passing of Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman. 



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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please don't turn Philip Seymour Hoffman's death into a platform for gun control. He was not that one-dimensional. Let us remember the man for his amazing talent, not for his heroin addiction.

Alessandro Machi said...

I would suggest you are being overzealous. I never mentioned gun ownership or gun rights anywhere in the article.

My tributing of Mr. Hoffman has nothing to do with gun control, I find it somewhat offensive that you would try to politicize as such.

If most people over the course of their lives have one or two "gun encounters" at most, then why should almost every movie they go to see have guns in them? It doesn't add up.

Most gun owners are secure in the knowledge they have a gun and probably prefer to not ever have to use it. I think that approach when it comes to the movies is not such a bad idea as well.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but why would you mention gun play? What has that got to do with Philip Seymour Hoffman? What has the "lack of gun brandishment" got to do with his legacy? His real legacy is being one of the finest everyman character actors ever. Since this is a political newspaper, your article (though unintentionally) smacks of gun control overtones.

Alessandro Machi said...

I have written these types of articles before, but not on this site. For instance, an actor like Ray Romano in his sit com or Men of a Certain Age didn't rely on guns.

As a result, he is not taken as seriously.

In this instance, Mr. Hoffman was able to take roles that did not rely on him brandishing a gun or blowing away the alleged bad guy, and become an elite actor as well.

There are a couple of actors that have managed to have terrific careers without needing guns, but most "A actors" in blockbusters tend to carry guns, Philip Seymour Hoffman was a welcome respite from that.

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