On February 2nd, 2014, I got a text message, which prompted a Google search, and the first headline that came up confirmed that Philip Seymour Hoffman had indeed been found dead in his apartment in West Village. I remember staring out the window and thinking that’s not too far from our apartment here in New York City.
In the days following, I saw shared news stories on my Facebook feed. Fifty Bags of Heroin found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Apartment. I saw links reblogged on Tumblr. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Saves 10 Lives. People were dealing with the shock by connecting with fellow social media users, strangers, and anonymous fans of the actor.
The headlines weren’t really enough for me to follow through with a click of my mouse, but I did read one article by A.O.Scott. After reading the article, I wanted to watch Philip Seymour Hoffman’s work. As a kid I had seen him in Twister and Patch Adams, as a teen I saw him in The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Big Lebowski, Punch Drunk Love, Almost Famous, and more recently, I had seen him in The Master. And yet, I felt like I was missing out on a plethora of Philip Seymour Hoffman characters.
I guess I felt a compulsion to see his earlier work, because I felt like this might be the best way to honor deceased artists. They continue to live on in what they leave behind. And I really believe Philip Seymour Hoffman left us with immortalized performances.