Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Five Best Roles

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In a sad bit of news, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away this weekend from an apparent overdose–which was confirmed upon a police investigation which mentioned the actor had died with a syringe still in his arm and an envelope filled with drugs in it. And while it’s always difficult to see anyone pass away–especially a public figure or entertainer–losing someone of Hoffman’s esteemed talent has shocked Hollywood. Though he’ll be forgotten, we look back on some of the Academy Award winner’s finest moments from an acting career that had many of them.

5. Boogie Nights, Scotty

Hoffman was already a major star when he took on the small role of Scotty in the cult flick, Boogie Nights, showing just how dynamic and egoless he was. With one of the most classic scenes from the movie–although his character wasn’t a major one–the actor clumsily went in for a kiss on the star, Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), blubbing like an idiot just how dumb he really was for making the pass. It’s a scene that only a few actors could make funny, sad and realistic all at once–and he was one of them.

4. Charlie Wilson’s War, Gust Avrakotos

Political movies can always be difficult to watch because the viewers might not even be familiar with what the plot or characters are actually about. But seeing the actor portray Gust Avrakotos opposite of Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson’s War was masterful, earning him both an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination. One of the finest, passionate scenes from the movie comes when Avrakotos breaks his boss’s window in order to prove a point, instantly stepping up the drama in the film.

3. Doubt, Father Brendan Flynn

In a role like this, casting directors need to make sure they have someone who has the edge and passion to not only be able to pull a character like Fr. Brendan Flynn off, but more so one that can handle the criticism–after all, anything religion-related will be killed by the media and groups. Hoffman did more than just handle all the fuss. He took the film to a whole new level, making the audience fear and hate his role, yet being rewarded by being nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role,”–which he lost out to Heath Ledger.

2. The Master, Lancaster Dodd

As the fiery Lancaster Dodd, Hoffman shows that he wasn’t shy on creating tension in a room when he has a tourette’s-like outburst on the biggest cynic of his philosophical movement, John Moore, scoffing the doubter with a blow-up that even Bobby Knight would be proud of. The best part for his character? His opponent’s silence. Actually controlling the scene by losing control, Dodd’s rage is apparent throughout the movie, and it becomes the centerpiece for each scene thereafter for the audience to see the type of man Dodd is to be portrayed as.

1. Capote, Truman Capote

When a guy gets honored with an Academy Award, it means that he’s being recognized as being the tops in a year of many films. Rarely off-screen and asked to carry this movie about the life of writer Truman Capote, Hoffman is asked to play a two-faced, disloyal man who wasn’t afraid to backstab his friends in the movie. He was asked to be harsh, real and deceptive, and with his words to fictional friend, Harper Lee, saying, “I don’t see what the fuss is about,” the actor showed why his performance was so dynamic.

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