The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Ode to a thespian extroidinaire

 Ode to a thespian extroidinaire
Ode to a thespian extroidinaire

Ode to a thespian extroidinaire

 

Of all the actors and actresses in Hollywood, I regard a majority of them as dispensable. Unfortunately, most of the alleged “talent” that graces the big screen at your local theater, in my humble opinion, is sub-par at best. There are, however, the proverbial diamonds in the rough – those certain performances that really seem to stick with you.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s have stuck with me for a number of years, and I couldn’t have been happier when he won his first Academy Award (for best actor, no less) this past Sunday. Hoffman already took home this year’s Independent Spirit, Golden Globe and National Society of Film Critics Awards for his performance in the film “Capote.” His portrayal of the infamous New Yorker, Truman Capote, investigating a murder in rural Kansas left me in absolute awe. To fully master Capote’s mannerisms, Hoffman spoke in his “Capote” voice for the duration of the filming and tirelessly studied the eccentric genius’ voice intonation, body language, humor and overall demeanor.

Although Hoffman just recently won his first major awards, he has continually received a great deal of critical acclaim for his remarkable diversity. In the past several months, Hoffman was featured on the covers of both Paste magazine and Hobo magazine — two very well-respected publications in the art world. After spectacular performances in modern-day classics such as “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Almost Famous” and “25th Hour,” Hoffman is finally being recognized as one of the industry’s premier players.

Admittedly, Hoffman’s performances in “Boogie Nights” and “25th Hour” are two of my favorites. In Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” he plays a character named Scotty J. – a homosexual cameraman who works for a pornographic film company operated by none other than Burt Reynolds. Mark Wahlberg’s character, Dirk Diggler, quickly becomes the object of Scotty J.’s obsession. The way in which Hoffman conveys his character’s infatuation is an absolute riot and a must-see. Hoffman has appeared in all four of Anderson’s films, and their collaborations have produced some of the finest cinema in recent years.

As his career has continued to flourish, so have his opportunities. Over the past few years, Hoffman has directed various stage productions, on and off Broadway, in New York City. He also opened his own workshop called LAByrinthe Theatre, which offers quality theater at an affordable price. Although it is no cash-cow, Hoffman describes his admiration for his establishment as “a reprieve from the business paranoia and anxiety.” Outside of directing theater and acting, Hoffman is also experienced in the field of production. Not only did Hoffman star in “Capote,” but he was also one of the executive producers of the project.

In the wake of his recent success, expect to see and hear more about Hoffman in mainstream media. This summer, you will be able to see a more cynical side of the man as he will be starring as the villain, or Tom Cruise’s mongoose – as I like to call it – in J.J. Abrams’ “Mission Impossible 3.” It will inevitably be a different role for Hoffman, who rarely stars in action-packed summer blockbusters such as this one. Nevertheless, Hoffman, who delivers stellar performances regardless of the role, should be a worthy antagonist.

This article alone does not fully convey my utmost admiration for Philip Seymour Hoffman. If allowed, I could literally write for pages about my respect for him as an artist. One SMU film major, Rob Bralver, describes Hoffman by saying, “No one should be surprised by all this attention. Phil’s been slamming dunks for over a decade. Am I the only who remembers ‘Flawless’?” I couldn’t have expressed his popularity and notoriety any more eloquently.

 

Jeff Broadway is a sophomore foreign languages and litteratures major and can be reached at [email protected].

More to Discover