Cheat Sheet: Philip Seymour Hoffman


Philip Seymour Hoffman (he uses ALL his names)

Date of Birth:

July 23rd 1967

Place of birth:

Fairport, NY, USA

Special moves:

Acting, directing, looking both cuddly and a bit like an egg, ‘his sluggish, almost listless way of talking’ according to IMDB (weirdos)

Films include:

Jack Goes Boating, The Ides of March, Doubt, Synecdoche, New York, Capote, Magnolia

What you probably already know:

Phil, as we know him here at BFF towers, is a respected actor who has most recently made the transition into directing (who hasn’t?). Hoffman’s breakout occurred in Al Pacino’s blind dude movie Scent of a Woman where he played a private school brat opposite Chris O’Donnell (whatever happened to that guy?). Most notably, Phil has forged a strong working relationship with director Paul Thomas Anderson, with whom he worked on Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love. He also acted his little socks off – and indeed, all the way to glory – in biopic Capote, for which he nabbed a rather shiny Oscar (although we all know biopics are the cheapest sort of Oscar-fodder, thank you very much).

Unlike a lot of actors of his generation, Hoffman has managed – for the most part – to avoid being in embarrassing films (which is making this Cheat Sheet a bitch to write) and has instead tended towards oddball ensemble pieces (Magnolia, Synecdoche, New York, Happiness), political dramas (The Ides of March, Charlie Wilson’s War) and the occasional comedy (Along Came Polly). He also once played a villain, Mission: Impossible III‘s Owen Davian, and managed to be convincingly evil despite his tufty blonde locks.

What you might not know:

Phil was raised by his mother Marilyn, a lawyer, while his dad went around selling Xerox machines or something. In high school, he was accomplished at both wrestling and baseball (we can really imagine him in a baseball outfit for some reason? Has that happened?) but ended up falling into acting – and all because of some hot babe. According to famed website, Phil “encountered a beautiful, popular senior headed to auditions for a school production of The Crucible” whilst on his way to baseball tryouts and ended up “shelving his mitt to tag along”. That definitely sounds like a real thing that actually happened.

Another tasty bit of info for you fact-hungry hordes (and we are definitely not scraping the barrel here) is that Phil had the flu throughout the entire filming of Almost Famous, poor soul! Considering production on that film lasted from May to October 1999, that’s five months of flu! Five months! What a trooper (/he was probably milking it, the big milker).

Philip Seymour Hoffman quote:

The size of my head though is pretty abnormal.

What to say at a dinner party:

“For me, Phil’s portrayal of Capote is Southern flamboyance taken to baroque extremes. That’s just my opinion, though.”

What not to say at a dinner party:

“Forget Capote, he was ROBBED of the Oscar for Patch Adams. Robbed, I tell you!” *runs from room crying*

Final thought:

Philip Seymour Hoffman hasn’t done enough embarrassing things in his career. It’s OK, though. There’s still time. In the next decade we expect him to star in AT LEAST one Nicolas Cage action film involving fire and a motorbike, and one awful ensemble romantic comedy à la New Year’s Eve. And if he doesn’t, we’re going to break the news about him faking that flu.

Also, can someone send him a letter telling him his head is a perfectly normal size, please? We’re worried.

Anything else you think the world should know? Drop us a comment below!

About The Author