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Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Just as Lonely as You

Playing the great rock critic Lester Bangs, in Almost Famous, Seymour Hoffman remarks that: “Great art is about guilt and longing.” So often, that was what Seymour Hoffman’s acting was about. “Truth” is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the theatre; it’s a hazy concept that encompasses a lot of things, including not being hammy, or affected or self-conscious. It’s hard to pin down but easier to see when it’s right in front of you. When you watch Philip Seymour Hoffman act, you are watching something true. He once said of his career: “I just thought I’d ride my bike to the theater. That’s what was romantic to me.” It’s a line that sums up the possibility of creation, the optimism of making something artistic happen. To think that he’ll never do that again is almost too sad.