I remember the night Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Academy Award. I was working the late shift for the news, covering the annual Oscar party at The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. Hoffman was a local boy who made it big. Everybody was rooting for him.
Hoffman was one of the greatest actors of our generation. He didn’t just play a character, he became that character. I was shocked and saddened to hear about his sudden death. It also pissed me off. How could someone with his talent, fame and fortune throw it all away for a quick high? My God, he had three children. In fact, they were waiting for him to pick them up today. The local media will praise Hoffman for his accomplishments and brush over the fact that he died with a needle still stuck in his arm.
I won’t pretend to understand what it is like to have a heroin addiction. I have seen first hand what addiction can do to a person and their loved ones. It is devastating. We all struggle and battle demons, but I don’t get why anyone would choose to use heroin to cope. There is no turning back.
My heart breaks for Hoffman’s mother, family and friends. I feel bad for local kids who looked up to him and dreamed of following in his footsteps. I am also disappointed that Hoffman, who was not your typical movie star, is just another casualty of Hollywood.
“I think you should be serious about what you do because this is it. This is the only life you’ve got.”
– Philip Seymour Hoffman