Monday, February 3, 2014


My friend Aaron reminded me a while back that Philip Seymour Hoffman actually played TWO roles in Mission: Impossible III. Hoffman brought beautiful Method intensity to the role of villain/black market arms dealer Owen Davian, but for a few minutes, when hero Ethan Hunt is disguised as Davian, you have Hoffman playing Hunt, as well.

It doesn't bother me when actors I respect appear in splashy, big-budget Hollywood productions. I always assume that they have a personal project to bankroll or a young relative to impress. And considering how long an actor has to pay dues to reach a position of prominence, I certainly won't begrudge someone I respect getting a hefty check.

I value all of Hoffman's work, even in movies I didn't like - he never stopped trying things, pushing himself. Much as I mourn his passing, I'm grateful for the work he did, for what he showed us about our and others' humanity, and for the movies of his I have yet to see. And I'm weirdly, happily grateful that, even if only for a moment, he got to be the Action Hero.

(A crowdfunding drive in support of the Labyrinth Theater Company, a group co-founded and lovingly supported by Hoffman, has been established in his honor. Click here to contribute.)

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