Philip Seymour Hoffman always gave off feelings of sadness, in my opinion. The first time I saw him in The Talented Mr. Ripley, I knew he had the chops to become a huge star, but even then there was something haunting about him. The news reports of his condition and the drug paraphernalia found in his apartment point to someone who gave in to his addiction. It seems like a morality story that repeats itself over and over in the media, whether it’s Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi, Heath Ledger, or other actors.
I was just out of college when Belushi died. So many of my New Orleans friends dreams of seeing “A Confederacy of Dunces” made into a movie died when he did. Anytime I see “A Knight’s Tale” or other Heath Ledger movies, it still slays me. Death has no respect for talent, beauty, potential, or suffering.
We put these richly talented people up on pedestals, and expect them to be so much more than human and frail. Except for a lucky few of us, we all have demons that drive or grind us down, destroy us, destroy families, break up homes, push us to live on the streets after losing everything. We can turn our backs on what addicts us, or let it kill us, physically, mentally, socially. Addictions are cold hearted killers.
Lest you think I’m being judgmental, let me tell you this: my own family has been rife with its own addictions and tragedies. Anyone who’s had an addict in their family knows what an insane circus they’re forced to live. Middle of the night trips to ER’s, stomach pumpings, guns being used to make a point, long hours spent in waiting rooms waiting to hear if someone’s survived. Yeah, I’ve lived that insane circus, and think about Hoffman’s partner and children left behind.
I feel terrible for his family and friends, especially his children. He had so many people who loved and respected him.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Hoffman.