Since his untimely death in February this year, we’ve actually seen a lot more of Philip Seymour Hoffman that we had in some time.
Taking up leading man status for dark 80s dramedy God’s Pocket, as well as being all over the trailer’s for the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One, this weekend also sees the terrifically talented actor lead an all-star cast in A Most Wanted Man (in case you didn’t know, we were fans of the movie, as you can see from our review HERE).
While PSH was usually the stand-out of every movie he was in, admired by audiences and his peers – he won the leading actor Oscar for Capote, and was also nominated for his supporting roles in The Master, Charlie Wilson’s War and Doubt – but there are some movies that he was a part of that we may have, for one reason or another, have let slip from our minds.
We’re looking back over our five favourite perhaps forgotten roles of the legend that was Philip Seymour Hoffman. And if you’ve got any particular favourites not noted by the Academy or mentioned by us, comment below!
ALONG CAME POLLY – SANDY LYLE
A Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy may not seem like the kind of vehicle that a man of immense talent such as Hoffman should be wasting his time on, but it just goes to show that he wasn’t just here for Serious Face awards magnets; he was also very much up for having some fun. Aside from the sweaty basketball playing and draining pizzas of their juicy goodness, he’s also responsible for perhaps one of the greatest pratfalls in cinematic history. As you’ll see here:
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III – OWEN DAVIAN
Another example of Hoffman willing to mix it up a bit, here facing off against Tom Cruise and his pals in a big budget blockbuster. While Davian’s evil plans were never made all that clear to us, what was made clear is the fact that Hoffman could do dead-eyed sociopathic evil like no-one else. We usually associate him with all screaming, all dancing histrionic (more on that later), but here he’s like a viper in waiting, biding his time to strike. And he’s clearly having a ball.
PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE – DEAN TRUMBELL
Hoffman is a regular contributor to director P.T. Anderson’s work – check out Hard Eight and Magnolia, too – but his tiny role in this warped Adam Sandler romantic comedy shows how much he could achieve with so very little. Playing the owner of a phone sex operation, he goes completely off the reservation with unbridled rage (“SHUT SHUT SHUT SHUT UP!”), especially compared to Sandler, who is usually the one we’re used to seeing tap into the primordial ID.
RED DRAGON – FREDDY LOUNDS
Even under the direction of Brett Ratner (shudder), the fourth Hannibal Lector movie (or remake of the first, depending on how pedantic you are) still turned out to be pretty decent, thanks to a rake of great performances from the stellar cast-list. At the top of that pile would be Hoffman’s nefarious journalist, as he eels his way from scenes to scene, managing to becoming completely dislikeable with barely any screen time, and making you ask yourself whether or not you actually want to see Ralph Fiennes’ sharp-toothed killer murder him or not.
TWISTER – DUSTIN DAVIS
While he’d been toiling away on TV and in movies for five years prior to this, it’s more than likely that Twister was the first time we were exposed to the greatness of PSH. While Bill Paxton (or is it Pullman?) and Helen Hunt were being acted off the screen by a flying cow, Hoffman was a whirling dervish of fervent energy, constantly psyched by how close to dying he and all of his friends were. Even back then, nearly twenty years ago now, we could all see the scenery-destroying nature of his performance abilities. What a legend.