I loved Hoffman’s acting and especially his performance as a money-hungry addict planning a jewelry store heist with his cowardly younger brother in “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead”. All his supporting roles and other performances were memorable, though, and I kind of felt about his work like I did about Jack Nicholson in the ’70s; I eagerly anticipated each of his new movies just to see how he would attempt to top himself. He was fearless in taking on difficult roles, and challenged himself and expanded his range continually. Even the last character role that I saw him in, the hyped up “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” sequel, was nuanced and kept me guessing, and it’s a real shame he won’t be in the last chapter of the trilogy (although imdb is reporting that some of Hoffman’s scenes had been filmed, so it’s a little unclear what will be salvaged, or if those scenes will have to be reshot with another actor).
Regarding his reported death, I didn’t know he was a recovering addict for real, and frankly, with all the B.S. in the mainstream news nowadays, I wasn’t sure I bought this 100%, although according to this story, he’s been in rehab recently (see UPDATE below).
The first lead role I saw him in that made me take notice was "Love Liza" (2002) in which he played a depressed gas huffer, and Hoffman brought such an added dimension of reality to that role, I guess I have to wonder why I find it hard to imagine him shooting up in his apartment bathroom when he was supposed to be picking up his kids from school. Perhaps some of the parts he played got under his skin and started incubating there; his manner of dying is so much like some of the pathetically tragic characters he excelled at bringing to life that it makes me wonder.
Speculation aside, it’s a great loss, and I will miss his commitment and talent. He must have been a severely conflicted individual, and I’m grateful that he at least had the opportunity to share his mastery in several memorable films before he checked out. Now that he’s transitioned, I guess he, Lou Reed, and Lester Bangs can knock back and have a stimulating conversation (among many others, of course) about his rather goofy cameo role in “Almost Famous”.
Rest in peace, brother! My prayers and condolences go out to his partner Mimi and their three children.
UPDATE (Feb. 6): The New York Times has a portrait of Hoffman’s last days that adds some dimension to his struggle with his long-standing heroin addiction.
UPDATE 2 (Feb. 8): Hoffman might still be alive if the deadly “Ace of Spades” heroin he purchased had not been available. As Alex Jones rightly points out, our troops are protecting the poppy fields in Afghanistan which they took over after we drove out the Taliban after the 9/11 false flag psy-op. The money that Hoffman used to buy his fix are how black op projects off the U.S. budget books are financed.