One of my favorite movies of all time is Magnolia, directed/written by PT Anderson and starring the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman kicked ass in Magnolia in his role. Although, almost everyone acted their asses off in that film.
Hoffman died yesterday in what appears to be a drug overdose, from what I read.
I recently posted these beautiful tintypes from photographer Victoria Will, and I remember browsing them that Hoffman looked rough, just as rough as I felt he’s looked in almost every appearance I’ve seen him in over the past, hmm, couple years.
Maybe the movie Doubt got me wondering about the status of his sobriety. He appeared to be aging hard and fast. And despite his ability to wow me in performance, I couldn’t help but be distracted by his appearance.
I’ve seen him elsewhere on other interviews, and the reoccurring thought was, man, he’s gotta slow down.
I was unaware that he struggled with drugs early and that he cleaned up at 22, but the story of him found with a needle in his arm. It sounded from reports that his friends knew of his struggles.
Sometimes them there artist types get a little wound up and turn to the drugs and alcohol for a form of help. And it’s sad really. I know alcohol seems to be my goto source of aid for encouraging downtime and mental dulling when I’m stressed.
Lately I’ve been concentrating better and avoiding alcohol or overcoming that urge to grab that extra beer or two where other times I’m pretty good at justifying it. I bring it up, because I look at myself in the mirror in the morning sometimes, and I think, “Shit, I look rough ridden.”
What makes me sad is that Hoffman probably had loving friends who were there for him, and maybe they were giving him the encouragement to clean up, to stop. But addictions are so concentrated and tough.
I stand behind my friends, colleagues and role models in the artistic industries who have battled with their addictions and won out. I look up to them. I’ve seen people who sober up and legitimately continue to make art, live reasoned lives and refrain from excesses.
We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones, hell our fans (like Hoffman’s) to live as long as we can so we can all enjoy each others presence.