May 13, 2004
"The Talented Mr. Hoffman"

Between his work in films like Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love to Boogie Nights and his brilliant portrayal of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, I've considered Philip Seymour Hoffman to be one of the great and versatile actors of my generation. I've always hoped he was kind of a "hell of a guy" as well, and it certainly seems so from this interview in Tuscon Weekly. (via

Keanu content below...

What about the films you're in ... why did you pick Magnolia, Almost Famous, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Owning Mahowny?

PSH: For the diversity. I think there's a diversity in character; I also think there's a diversity in filmmaking, ranging from a really hard-core independent style, to a kind of broader commercial picture. Those were really the two criteria: diversity of filmmaking and diversity in characters.

On that diversity of character: You're a very studied actor ... if you saw Keanu Reeves at a party, what tips would you have for him?

PSH: I don't think there's anything Keanu doesn't know. I heard he went and played Hamlet at some theater once, and I see the things he does, and it's like, he's just another actor struggling to try to get better. And I am, too. I just don't get into that "he's someone to put down" kinda thing. Acting's a really hard thing to do, after all, and some people, I think, do it easier than others. But I do think that some people get better, and I also think some people do take it seriously, and I have a feeling he's somebody who probably does, that he struggles like everybody else to try to do it well. But if I saw him, I'd probably ask him for tips, to be quite honest, my friend. I'd be like, "So, how did you get in that first Matrix movie? How'd you swing that?"

But you're not aiming at a blockbuster, apparently.

PSH: No. But ending up in one is not a bad thing. I get offered them, and I'll say no if I don't like the part. But there are those opportunities that are worth taking, like the Matrix--I like that movie. So I'd ask, "How'd you get that job?"

You'd have been good as Neo. So, of the TV show remakes, which part have they offered you: Epstein, Wojo, Schneider? Father Mulcahey? They offer you Father Mulcahey?

PSH: Cat Woman.

Oh, you'd be a great Cat Woman!

PSH: I don't think I was actually offered that, though.

I need to bump Owning Mahoney up on my Netflix queue...

media spot | from inside the mind of krix at May 13, 2004 02:52 PM .

I read these remarks before...I like them. He's "a hell of a guy"

Posted by: shelz on May 13, 2004 03:19 PM

I used to *heart* Philip Seymour Hoffman. Now I *heart* him more. :)

Posted by: Zen on May 13, 2004 03:21 PM

Nice comments about Keanu - even nicer that PSH didn't take the interviewer's bait.

Posted by: Chianti on May 13, 2004 05:43 PM

I'm glad of this. I always liked Hoffman a lot.

Posted by: Smit too on May 13, 2004 08:01 PM

That Philip Seymour Hoffman is a sweetheart. I have always enjoyed his acting as well as his opinions. Didn't quite "get" Punch Drunk Love, but that's a whole other topic.

Posted by: sta-cie on May 14, 2004 02:49 AM

I've always like him, too. He was great in Cold Mountain. I agree with Chianti, it's always good when the subject doesn't take the interviewer's bait. The interviewer made a cheap judgement call and basically PSH showed that he was coming from a much more cool and whole and unthreatened place. I hadn't read that interview before but I think what he said about looking at people who can grow and struggle to get better is interesting as a movie fan.

Posted by: bea_herenow on May 14, 2004 03:20 AM

What a nice comment! I'm ashamed to say that although I've heard of him, I haven't actually followed his work. He's on my list now, though.

Posted by: Nudel on May 14, 2004 03:39 AM

That was cool of Hoffman.

This is one reason I was looking forward to Keanu appearing on Inside the Actor's Studio, teaching his class, being celebrated in some small way, letting the uninitiated in on some info.....

Posted by: Tawny on May 14, 2004 06:00 AM

And now that I think about it, this interviewer is a first-class jerk. What the hell does he mean "diversity of character." Hello? Do Ted Logan and Neo have even one thing in common? A single mannerism? Do they even walk and move the same way? Our darling is one of the few actors who actually changes the way he holds his entire face from role to role. Think of Jjaks' puppy eyes and kissable lips, then think of David Griffin. Think of the smooth, smiling, hands in his pockets Dr. Mercer, and then imagine Donnie Barksdale turning up in that restaurant. That interviewer needs my foot somewhere.

Posted by: Smit too on May 14, 2004 07:10 AM

You've got a point Smit

Posted by: shelz on May 14, 2004 07:19 AM

yes, Hoffman is wonderful and chooses quirky parts and i just love to watch him do his thing. and now i love him more because he very politely made a complete arse out of that idiot interviewer (and i would say this if he had said Ashton Kutcher instead of Keanu Reeves -- really, how obnoxious can you get to ask something like that in an interview?!). go PSH, go!

Posted by: lori on May 14, 2004 11:16 AM
What's on your mind?.....
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