Philip Seymour Hoffman (born 23.7.1967 - died 2.2.2014) Philip Seymour was an American actor. His most highly acclaimed role was his performance as Truman Capote in 2005's Capote - which won him the Best Actor Oscar, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe awards and an accolade from the Screen Actor's Guild.
Childhood: Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester area of New York, to Marilyn L. O'Connor and Gordon S. Hoffman. His mother was a judge in a family court as well as a civil rights activist and lawyer. His father was an executive of Xerox. His parents divorced when he was aged nine. He has two sisters, Jill and Emily. His brother, Gordy Hoffman, wrote the screenplay for Love Liza, the 2002 film in which Philip starred.
Acting Career: Philip Seymour Hoffman's debut amateur acting role come in 1982, when he played Radar O'Reilly in the Fairport High School production of M*A*S*H. In 1984, Hoffman studied at the Theater School at the New York State Summer School of the Arts. In 1989, Philip Seymour Hoffman graduated from NY University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. Whilst at university, he was briefly a member of the notoriously volatile theatre company the Bullstoi Ensemble, which also featured Steven Schub (singer of the ska band The Fenwicks) and Bennett Miller.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's first professional acting role came in 1991 when he appeared in an episode of Law and Order. The following year, he appeared in four feature films. The most successful of these was Scent of a Woman, which also starred Chris O'Donnell and Al Pacino. Prior to landing the role, he had been stacking shelves in a grocery store. He has often stated that it was this role that really kick-started his career.
From then on, Hoffman has been lucky, in many ways, as he has managed to retain a large degree of credibility as his career has advanced. He has worked with a number of highly respected directors, such as Cameron Crowe, Anthony Minghella, David Mamet and the Coen Brothers. He has also appeared in four of Paul Thomas Anderson's five feature films. These were Hard Eight, Boogie Nights (which starred Mark Wahlberg), Magnolia (starring Tom Cruise and William H. Macy) and Punch-Drunk Love.
Much of Philip Seymour Hoffman's career has been characterised by supporting roles. It has been rare for him to land major lead roles - but when he has, he has certainly flourished. Among his more acclaimed supporting roles are Cold Mountain, in which he played a sexually obsessed preacher, alongside Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. He also featured in Mission: Impossible III, alongside Tom Cruise.
In Happiness, he starred opposite Jane Adams. The independent film was directed by Todd Solondz and also featured Lara Flynn Boyle and Dylan Baker. He also appeared in The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The role that really propelled Hoffman to stardom was his portrayal of Truman Capote in Bennett Miller's biopic of the homosexual author. The film also starred Catherine Keener and Chris Cooper. Hoffman won an Oscar for his lead role in the film.
In 2007, Philip Seymour Hoffman featured in another biographical drama, Charlie Wilson's War. The film starred Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams and Hoffman played the role of a CIA operative, Gust Avrakotos. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in the film. He also received an Oscar nomination for the same category, but lost out to Javier Bardem, for his performance in No Country For Old Men.
2008 saw Hoffman star in two critically lauded films. First was Synecdoche, New York, the Charlie Kaufman / Spike Jonze production starring Samantha Morton and Michelle Williams. Secondly was Doubt, the Oscar-nominated film that also starred Meryl Streep. Hoffman lost out on the Best Supporting Actor once more - this time to the late for Heath Ledger, for his performance in The Dark Knight.
2012 saw him in Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and the following year he appeared in 'The Hunger Games' sequel 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'.
Personal Life: Philip Seymour Hoffman was in a relationship with Mimi O'Donnell until he died, a costume designer whom he met on the set of 1999's In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, which was directed by Hoffman. The couple had a son, Cooper Alexander and two daughters, Tallulah and Willa.
As a college graduate, Hoffman suffered from heavy drug use and alcoholism before going to rehab and recovering at 22. He re-entered rehab in 2013 following a relapse into heroin use after two decades. In February 2014, he was found dead by David Bar Katz in the bathroom of his office apartment following a drug overdose. Large amounts of heroin and prescription drugs were found on the scene.
Following the tragedy, Katz allegedly claimed to have been in a homosexual relationship with Hoffman, though these reports are yet to be solidly confirmed.
Suzanne Collins' saga comes to a suitably epic conclusion in a climactic series of battles that are packed with emotional kicks to the gut. Director Francis Lawrence continues to show remarkable reverence for the source novels while relying on his A-list cast to bring layers of nuance to even the smallest roles. The result is a massively textured war movie that's packed with darkly personal moments and glimpses of wit and spark. It's also a satisfying conclusion to the franchise that avoids the usual Hollywood bombast.
As the rebels prepare to attack Panem's Capitol and President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the rebellion's figurehead Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) decides to take matters into her own hands. Rebel leaders Coin and Plutarch (Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman) try to stay one step ahead of Katniss, using her as the Mockingjay to rally the troops. With Gale (Liam Hemsworth), a not-quite-unbrainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a small group of cohorts, Katniss works her way across the bombed-out city to Snow's mansion, intending to put an arrow through his heart. But the battle takes a shocking twist, and Katniss has to make a difficult decision about doing the right thing no matter what it costs her.
Right from the start, the filmmakers continue to echo Katniss' earliest act of heroism when she volunteered for the Hunger Games to protect her sister Prim (Willow Shields) and then vowed to keep Peeta safe in the violent arena. These are the things that drive her right to the very end of this saga, holding the audience in an emotional grip. This means that the political nastiness, violent warfare and publicity posturing all have a much deeper resonance for the audience, while for Katniss they are virtually irrelevant. Her mission remains untainted: she just wants to protect her loved ones and make the future safe. Which is why her speeches carry such rousing power.
Continue reading: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review
Katniss Everdeen is determined to take down President Snow once and for all. Too many lives have been sacrificed and too many homes destroyed while the Capitol has brainwashed and controlled the people of Panem. Now re-united with Peeta after his rescue from Snow's clutches, Katniss gathers her friends from District 13 - Gale, Finnick and Cressida - and sets out on the ultimate mission to free Panem, and fight Snow to the death. But it seems it's not only Snow that wants Katniss dead, as she becomes increasingly paranoid about some of the supposed rebels. Facing increasing uncertainty, more tragedy and some of the worse warfare she could possibly imagine, Katniss starts to realise that ending the nightmare won't end the fear or the collective sorrow.
The show, in which Coogan plays a depressed middle-aged man searching for happiness, has been pulled.
Steve Coogan’s latest prime-time comedy series ‘Happyish’ has been cancelled by its American TV network. The series, which Coogan was called in to front after the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2014, has been axed after just one season by Showtime.
According to Deadline, the cable network confirmed that the satirical drama-comedy about a depressed middle-aged man and his family would not be getting a second run, after receiving disappointing ratings throughout its first series from April to June this year. Just 261,000 watched the series finale, even though that was up from the initial 237,000 that watched the first episode.
Steve Coogan's ambition to break big Stateside has taken a blow, with 'Happyish' being cancelled
Continue reading: Steve Coogan's 'Happyish' Cancelled By Showtime
Having successfully rescued Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors, Katniss Everdeen is feeling the strain of being the Mockingjay for the rebel group of District 13. The propaganda is exhausting, and she is starting to become uncertain about who are the heroes and who are the villains. While victory over the Capitol looks in the rebels' favour, Katniss is becoming increasingly suspicious of President Coin - a suspicion which becomes all the more intense when she confronts the captured Panem leader President Snow. He seems intent on killing her, but he's not the only one. When the rebels' methods are shown to be just as hostile as the Capitol, Katniss has to decide which path the take and with the oncoming final Hunger Games, her decision is fated to change her life forever.
But is 'Mockingjay Part 1' just a set up for the best yet to come?
'The Hunger Games' continues to go from strength to strength, garnering solid reviews and big box office takings. The latest instalment, 'Mockingjay Part 1', debuted at number one on both the American and British box office charts, and looks likely to hold the top spot until 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' opens next month.
Jennifer Lawrence makes another stunning performance in 'Mockingjay Part 1'
Critics have given the film a 66% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, down from 84% for the 2012 original film and 89% for 'Catching Fire'. This is probably due to the fact that third novel 'Mockingjay' has been split into two movies, which leaves 'Part 1' sometimes feeling like a set-up to something much more exciting still to come.
A look back on the legacy of the late director.
Today Hollywood mourns the death of Mike Nichols, the mind behind films like The Graduate, Closer and Working Girl. Having started out his career as a comedian and later moving on to comedy, standup, directing, drama and a whole list of other film credits, Nichols could truly be called a Renaissance man of modern cinema.
Throughout his career, Nichols played with genres and characters to explore the broad range of the human condition.
He was one of the few multi-talented artists to enter the EGOT club, as Tracy Jordan would call it and win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony for his work. Nichols frequently went from the comic to the tragic and right back again in his quest to explore all aspects of the human condition.
Continue reading: The Life And Career Of Late Director Mike Nichols
This four-part franchise, based on the Suzanne Collins novels, turns very dark with this strikingly bold third film, which once again makes the most of perspective to recount a parable about normal people rising up against oppression. This may be a sci-fi apocalypse, but the story is packed with present-day resonance and messy characters who are sometimes unnervingly easy to identify with. So while things get very grim in this chapter, it's still a hugely engaging film, packed with real-life humour and emotion. And it makes Mockingjay Part 2 unmissable.
The story picks up not long after the chaos of the Quarter Quell, when Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) realised that she had been a pawn for a planned revolution that cast her as the iconic Mockingjay. Now in hiding, the rebels need her to assume the role publicly, but she has other concerns. So she makes a deal with rebel President Coin (Julianne Moore) and her sidekick Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that she'll help them if they guarantee safety for the captured Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who has apparently been brainwashed so he can be used for propaganda purposes by the Capitol's President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Working with her old hunting buddy Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Katniss takes on the Mockingjay role, locking horns with Snow as the rebellion grows in strength.
Once again, director Francis Lawrence vividly tells the story from Katniss' imperfect point of view. This is a teen consumed with anger and confusion, and she can't figure out why she's so inspiring to everyone who looks at her. But she's beginning to understand her impact and how she can use it to help the people she loves. This makes her heroism remarkably human, rather than the usual noble movie self-sacrifice. And Jennifer Lawrence brings so much depth to Katniss that the character transcends even the most jarring plot points. Her internal journey also makes this much more than yet another dystopian teen adventure.
Continue reading: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Review
Steve Coogan will play Thom Payne in Showtime's 'Happyness'.
British actor and comedian Steve Coogan has replaced the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in the upcoming dramedy pilot Happyish. The untimely death of Hoffman earlier this year left a gaping hole in the movie industry, though - and I think enough time has passed to say this - it also left several high quality parts up for grabs, given the 46-year-old was the greatest of his generation.
Steven Coogan will play Thom Payne in Showtime's 'Happyish'
Hoffman didn't do dud roles and Thom Payne in Happyish was another nugget. It is now down to Coogan to play the 44-year-old guy who begins to feel his age when a 25-year-old kid waltzes in and becomes his new boss. The young, trendy executive knows the industry spiel and Thom is left trying to discover a path to happiness. Nick Venable of Cinema Blend has tipped up Modern Family's Adam DeVine to play the smart-ass boss - and that could be right on the money.
With the incredible ramifications of the end of the yearly ritualistic sacrificial televised Hunger Games, the world is thrown into disarray when the supposed saviour of the underprivileged working class travels to District 13 to help with the revolution she inadvertently started. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is the last hope and symbol of resistance against the capitol that seeks to keep her and her people as poverty-stricken slaves, and after surviving the aforementioned Hunger Games twice, Katniss must learn that 'it is the things we love most that destroy us.' Now, with an army at her back, Katniss must change the course of history and bring freedom to the masses through a global armed revolution.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is likely to be Oscar nominated for 'A Most Wanted Man'.
When A Most Wanted Man premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, early buzz began to swell around Philip Seymour Hoffman's strikingly astute performance as a worn-out German spy pushing back against a militaristic culture of paranoia and violence. Then just weeks later, the actor was found dead in his New York home.
Philip Seymour Hoffman in 'A Most Wanted Man'
Now that the film is in cinemas, the talk of possible awards-season glory has risen again, as critics describe Hoffman's performance as one of his best ever. Many say that an Oscar nomination is a sure thing, and that he could very well win a posthumous honour to go along with his 2005 Best Actor for Capote.
Continue reading: 'A Most Wanted Man' Could Win Hoffman Posthumous Oscar
Photographer-turned-filmmaker Anton Corbijn continues to show striking maturity with only his third movie (after Control and The American). Based on the John Le Carre novel, this thriller avoids cliches to become a brilliantly tense spy drama. It also offers Philip Seymour Hoffman another terrific posthumous performance, one of his best ever, as a quietly tenacious man who refuses to get caught up in the hype.
Set in Hamburg, the story centres on Gunther (Hoffman), the exhausted leader of a top-secret anti-terrorist unit who has gathered around him a loyal team (including Nina Hoss, Daniel Bruhl and Vicky Krieps). When they spot an unknown Chechen in town, they identify him as Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin) but aren't sure what he's up to. Gunther thinks that following him is the best course of action, as he may lead them to much bigger fish. And they're further intrigued when he contacts a lawyer (Rachel McAdams) and a powerful banker (Willem Dafoe). But the local police and German security forces want to arrest Issa and interrogate him, even though this will stop Gunther from taking down a potentially much bigger operation, and even though it looks like Issa isn't a terrorist at all. Only a US embassy attache (Robin Wright) shares Gunther's long-game approach, but can they delay the gung-ho cops?
While the central plot slowly cranks up some powerful suspense, it's the dramatic and thematic elements of the film that truly get under the skin, mainly thanks to Hoffman's world-weary performance as a man whose eyes miss nothing. And he's beginning to wish he could just close them and pretend all of this doesn't exist. Every conversation he has sparks with jagged insinuation, driving the entire film deeper as an exploration of the dangers of self-proclaimed "good guys" with too much military power, especially when they're paranoid. This is augmented by several personal layers of plot-threads, including Issa's own compelling mystery, beautifully played by a gifted cast that's great at saying one thing and meaning another.
Continue reading: A Most Wanted Man Review
God's Pocket features a typically assured performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman.
John Slattery, the actor and filmmaker who many will know as Roger Sterling from Mad Men, is on the publicity trailer for his debut feature God's Pocket - a new drama featuring one of the final performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman. The actor - regarded as the finest of his generation - died from a heroin overdose after wrapping the movie.
Philip Seymour Hoffman [L] in 'God's Pocket'
The release of God's Pocket has subsequently been a bittersweet experience for Slattery, who told the Huffington Post UK, "I had compartmentalised it. When it happened [Hoffman's death], it was horrible and the movie came out in the US and I stopped talking about it. I hadn't talked about it in a long time, and it's not the experience I wanted to have."
Continue reading: God's Pocket: John Slattery On Seymour Hoffman, "I Wish He Was Here"
Philip Seymour Hoffman turns in a stunning turn in the otherwise average 'God's Pocket'.
When Philip Seymour Hoffman died in February, he had just completed starring roles in two films and accompanied them to their world premieres at Sundance. The first of these to open to the public is God's Pocket, which hits UK cinemas this weekend (it had a limited release in America in May). He plays a frazzled man indulging in a small-time heist to pay for his stepson's funeral. Directed by actor John Slattery and costarring Christina Hendricks and John Turturro, the film has had a warm reception from critics.
Philip Seymour Hoffman [L] in 'God's Pocket'
And now the second Sundance film, A Most Wanted Man, is gathering talk about a possible posthumous Oscar nomination for Hoffman, who delivers a remarkably textured performance as a German spy trying to diffuse a tragedy involving a possible Chechen terrorist. The film opened in America last week and arrives in Britain next month.
Continue reading: 'God's Pocket' Makes Sure We Remember Philip Seymour Hoffman
Despite a strong sense of the characters and the setting, this film struggles to engage viewers with its downbeat story about how tough life is. Even though the performances are powerful enough to hold the attention, the film feels like it drifts aimlessly along, never coming into focus in a meaningful way. And since everything is right on the surface, there isn't much subtext to help the events resonate with the audience.
In the God's Pocket neighbourhood in 1980s Philadelphia, everyone knows everything about each others' lives. Mickey (Philip Seymour Hoffman) works as a driver delivering meat, but spends just as much time planning small-time scams with his pal Arthur (John Turturro). Then his life is thrown out of balance when his hothead stepson Leon (Caleb Landry Jones) dies in what is suspiciously described as a workplace accident. Mickey's wife Jeanie (Christina Hendricks) struggles to cope with her son's death, so Mickey is easily pressured by the local mortician (Eddie Marsan) into buying a funeral he can't afford. To make some extra cash, he plans a heist with Arthur and their careless pal Sal (Domenick Lombardozzi), which predictably goes awry. Meanwhile, a famed local journalist (Richard Jenkins) starts looking into Leon's death.
It's not like the film is low on plot: there are plenty of story strands to push each character further into their own personal desperation. And the tightly knit setting provides an intriguing counterpoint as everyone's dirty laundry is aired for all to see, which pushes their true emotions even further underground. This lets the actors deliver riveting performances, even as they're all beaten down to mere husks of humanity. In one of his final roles, Hoffman is terrific as a guy for whom everything goes relentlessly wrong. Hendricks is pretty wrenching as the rather drippy Jeanie, whose interaction with Jenkins is both warm and depressing. Thankfully, Turturro and Marsan provide a spark of energy, as does Joyce Van Patten in a scene-stealing role as Arthur's gun-crazy aunt.
Continue reading: God's Pocket Review
The new trailer isn't as exciting as the Donald Sutherland videos, but it features all the right moments.
In case you’ve had no access to WiFi since the weekend (poor thing), the big thing is the first teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I. Lionsgate debuted the minute-long video at Comic-Con and since then, it’s been picked apart by movie blogs far and wide. But if you’re watching out for spoilers, don’t worry, nothing major here. The first official trailer for Mockingjay (unless you count the mega creepy “propaganda” videos released in June and early July) is exactly what Hunger Games fans wanted to see - even an appearance by the rising star of the day, Natalie Dormer.
Dormer plays Cressida, a Capitol filmmaker, who sides with the rebellion.
Julianne Moore looks just as ruthless and determined as we’d expect President Coin to be and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s appearance seems deliberately eerie, considering the actor died before finishing his scenes for the film. In fact, Hoffman’s narration can be heard throughout most of the trailer, which is a great sign that we’ll see or at least hear a lot of him in the movie.
Date of birth
23rd July, 1967
Date of death
2nd February, 2014