Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967–2014)

2014.02.03 16:38

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967–2014)

Vasárnap este tudtam meg, hogy egyik kedvenc színészem Philip Seymour Hoffman meghalt. Torokszorító érzés volt. Nyugodjék békében. Csodáltam a játékát, az energiáját, ahogy apró szerepekben is példát mutatott hogyan kell(ne) játszani.

Nincs kis szerep, csak kis színész. Ma Hamlet, holnap statiszta, de mindenkor művész.

Sajnálnám ha csak úgy emlékeznének rá, mint a heroinista színész akinek mindene megvolt és mégis "bedobta a törülközőt". Ezért szeretném megosztani egy jezsuita atya - James Martin - emlékezését egy csodálatos emberről aki nem "csak" színész volt, hanem egy "nagylelkű, intelligens, elkötelezett, jószívű ember..."

Dear friends: Thank you for the prayers for the eternal rest of my friend Phil Hoffman, and for his family. Everyone who knew him is heartbroken.

Since so many of you have asked: I met Phil when I was asked to help in a production of an Off-Broadway play, "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," by Stephen Adly Guirgis, which Phil was directing in 2003-2004 at the Public Theater. He was a lovely person, who instantly made me feel welcome and never, ever, put on airs.

I learned a great deal about humility from Phil. He treated all the actors--well-known and not-as-well known--with the same respect and dignity. And in conversation, he would always say, "I'm making a film," not, "I'm starring in 'Capote,'" which he was at the time. In time, I would be invited to join the Labyrinth Theater Company, of which he was then co-artistic director.

When he was signed up to star in the film "Doubt," he called me for help and we spent a good deal of time talking about what it meant to be a priest, going to Masses at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York, and even spending time practicing celebrating Mass. (After one Mass, I took him up on the high altar so that he could get a sense of what the priest would have seen in the early 1960s.) Phil was so devoted to his work, took pains to get every aspect of his performance as a priest correct, and, as such, it was a real grace to watch him work. Seeing him act was a reminder of what it means to have a real vocation.

At one point on the set at Mt. St. Vincent's College in Riverdale, NY, I suggested that his preaching seemed to be too reserved. A presider has to preach to the "back rows," as we were told in homiletics class. But when I saw the final cut of "Doubt" it dawned on me that he knew that the camera was close up, and a louder homily wouldn't have worked. His preaching scenes are riveting. (My sister said, "That's why he is the Oscar winner, and you're the Jesuit.")

Phil was a down-to-earth, generous, intelligent, humble, dedicated, kind-hearted man and I was privileged to know him.

Here is an excerpt from "A Jesuit Off-Broadway," in which I share some of my experiences of working with him on the play.

This is a photo (taken by Monique Carboni) is of the original cast of

This is a photo (taken by Lab member Monique Carboni) is of the original cast of "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," at the Public Theater ten years ago. The T-shirt Phil is wearing is one given to all of us, and it features the touching definition of heaven, from one of the show's characters. Heaven is a place where you can "Eat Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes and Feel the Sun on Your Place."

May he rest there, in eternal peace.