Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 5, 2014

House of Burgess: His weakness made him strong

Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46

On Monday, I found myself roaming the DVD section of the public library. Included in the ever-growing stack of plastic cases under my arm were: “Scent of a Woman” (1992); “State and Main” (2000); “Empire Falls” (2005); “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007); “Synecdoche, New York” (2008) and “The Master” (2012).

The one element they all had in common was they were all movies starring Philip Seymour Hoffman that I had not yet seen.

The previous day I had learned Hoffman — one of the finest character actors ever — was found dead in his New York City apartment. He was only 46 years old.

“Investigators found a syringe in his arm and, nearby, an envelope containing what appeared to be heroin,” reported Bruce Weber in The New York Times on Sunday.

Hoffman had been open about his struggles with addiction in the past, including a stint in rehab at age 22.

“It’s not a great pleasure for me to have a couple of glasses of wine,” he told Terry Gross on WHYY’s “Fresh Air” in 2008, after she asked if seeing others partake made him jealous. “That’s kind of annoying. Do you know what I mean? Like, why aren’t you having the whole bottle?”

There was clearly something very, very broken inside him. He exposed this vulnerability on screen. He held nothing back, making him an awe-inspiring performer. Sadly, the same thing that made him great ultimately did him in.

“What it takes to be a great athlete is the same thing that it takes to be a great actor, I think, that kind of concentration, that kind of privacy in public and that kind of un-self-conscious kind of experience are very similar and that kind of pressure of the people watching,” he told Gross in the same interview.

What a loss. Hoffman stars in no less than 10 movies I absolutely love. They are, in chronological order: “Hard Eight” (1996) — Hoffman came alive as an obnoxious gambler in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s debut film. He went on to star in every Anderson film to date, except “There Will Be Blood.”; “Boogie Nights” (1997) — I could watch this once a month for the rest of my life. Hoffman paints a hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of unrequited love; “The Big Lebowski” (1998) — My favorite movie ever; “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999) — Hoffman steals every scene he’s in, even from Matt Damon and Jude Law;

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller