Phil Hoffman and I had two things in common. We were both fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts. Of course I’d known Phil’s work for a long time — since his remarkably perfect film debut as a privileged, cowardly prep-school kid in Scent of a Woman — but I’d never met him until the first table read for Charlie Wilson’s War, in which he’d been cast as Gust Avrakotos, a working-class CIA agent who’d fallen out of favor with his Ivy League colleagues. A 180-degree turn.
On breaks during rehearsals, we would sometimes slip outside our soundstage on the Paramount lot and get to swapping stories. It’s not unusual to have these mini-AA meetings — people like us are the only ones to whom tales of insanity don’t sound insane. “Yeah, I used to do that.” I told him I felt lucky because I’m squeamish and can’t handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish. And he said this: “If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.” He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean.
So it’s in that spirit that I’d like to say this: Phil Hoffman, this kind, decent, magnificent, thunderous actor, who was never outwardly “right” for any role but who completely dominated the real estate upon which every one of his characters walked, did not die from an overdose of heroin — he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine.
He didn’t die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed — he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it. He’ll have his well-earned legacy — his Willy Loman that belongs on the same shelf with Lee J. Cobb’s and Dustin Hoffman’s, his Jamie Tyrone, his Truman Capote and his Academy Award. Let’s add to that 10 people who were about to die who won’t now.
Aaron Sorkin’s obituary for Philip Seymour Hoffman in Time
This colorful, fruity drink is sure to please everyone at the party. Sweet citrus juices are combined with strawberries and given a fizzy kick with club soda. Serve it with a fresh fruit garnish for the kids or add an optional splash of gin or vodka for the adults. This recipe suggests juicing the fruits using a centrifugal juicer, but mashing and straining the strawberries and juicing the citrus by hand will yield similar results.
TIME TO TABLE: 10 minutes prep.
INGREDIENTS: 10 to 12 strawberries, hulled 6 Paramount Citrus lemons, peeled 2 Paramount Citrus navel oranges, peeled 24 to 32 oz. club soda or seltzer, cold Strawberries or citrus slices for garnish
1. Using a centrifugal juicer, feed in the strawberries, then the lemons and finally the oranges. Stir the juice.
2. Pour ¼ of the juice into each of four 8 to 10 ounce glasses. Add club soda or seltzer to fill each glass. Garnish with fruit and serve.