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From actors to Internet personalities and seasoned journalists, everyone who worked with or interviewed Philip Seymour Hoffman seems to have been truly impacted by the actor whose legendary career was tragically ended far too soon.
Even those who didn't get the chance to meet him have been sharing thoughts on how his roles affected them both as filmgoers and film critics. His characters often make you feel as if you're a part of something much larger than what's being shown on screen or on stage and stay with you long after the credits roll and the curtains have closed.
Film critics, theater journalists, and actors share their personal memories of Hoffman and the influence his career had on their own.
"He set off small detonations whenever he appeared, and instantly amplified the stakes. He was the most electric actor of his generation."
- Scott Tobias, The Dissolve
"I’ve thought many times through the years about being blown away by that performance. About what a lesson it was in committing, digging deep, raising the stakes, going further. Philip Seymour Hoffman kept doing that. He never stopped doing it. He was incapable of not doing it."
- James Urbaniak, jamesurbaniak.tumblr.com
"I’ll never, ever forget this man, an uncanny master of his craft. Phil, you’ve set the bar. Wherever you’ve gone, you’ll here remain forever unmatched."
- Josh Ruben, joshruben.tumblr.com
"I have no illusions – I was a journalist, not his friend in these encounters (calling to mind his film Almost Famous, in which his character Lester Bangs wisely tells an aspiring journalist, 'You can not make friends with the rock stars if you’re going to be a true journalist, a rock journalist.') I did not know Hoffman personally. But I sure knew his work and, after these conversations, his level of commitment to it. For an actor as rare as Hoffman, his work is personal – perhaps as personal as it gets."
- Barbara Chai, WSJ Speakeasy Blog
"A lot of deaths feel sad. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s feels like a robbery."
- James Poniewozik, columnist for TIME
"While he may not have marched in parades, waved rainbow flags or partnered with gay rights groups, Hoffman put homosexuality front and center by portraying gay characters as being more than just gay."
- Brian Klonoski, PolicyMic.com
"...Hoffman was like an all-star utility player; there was seemingly nothing and no one he couldn’t play onscreen—and play it well. He had the charisma to be a leading man (Synecdoche, New York), the intensity to play a diabolical villain (Mission: Impossible III), the chops to do dark comedy (Punch-Drunk Love), and the mimicry skills to capture the essence of an iconic celebrity (Capote). From tiny indies (Love Liza) to the biggest of blockbusters (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), he could—and did—do it all."
- Matt Singer, The Dissolve
"As Michelangelo said of his own work: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” This is how Philip’s characters feel—like they were real people living their deep and odd lives and were pulled onto the screen to deliver the most intense aspects of themselves. But Philip didn’t just deliver realism, he also tinged each one with the patina of greatness, which goes back to the sculpture idea—his performances had a lapidary quality. They were harder than human, but simultaneously blessed with the inner spark of humanity. They were more human than human."
- James Franco, Vice