In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death on Sunday, friends and collaborators from around the entertainment world have offered tributes in his memory. Two of the best came from those involved in Almost Famous.
Cameron Crowe singled out the “Uncool” speech in his short and sweet remembrance of Hoffman. The director recounts his initial take on the scene as “a loud, late night pronouncement from Lester Bangs.” But he also recalls how Hoffman used a Walkman to listen to Bang’s interviews, a process Crowe describes as going “hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met.” It’s a poignant take on the insight and research Hoffman brought to his performances.
Meanwhile, Patrick Fugit spoke to Entertainment Weekly, where he also talked about a deleted scene from the special edition of Punch-Drunk Love, but foremost about the intense experience of working with Hoffman on Almost Famous. Crowe warned Fugit that Hoffman would “probably be in character the whole time,” and that he brought an intensity others were afraid to challenge Fugit with as a young actor:
There was a lot of pressure on me, so I think people were kind of tiptoeing around me: “Oh Patrick, you’re doing a great job, and all this, ha, ha, ha.” But Philip was not like that at all. He was there to do his job and it was like he wanted me to keep up with him. When he came on, he was like, “Are you ready? Are you really ready? You’re the lead of the film, and you better step to the plate on this one.”
The Daily Show also dedicated its “Moment Of Zen” to Hoffman during Monday’s show, playing a clip of the actor repeating advice he was given by an acting teacher during a Golden Globes ceremony. It elucidates the sheer effort Hoffman exuded in every performance, no matter what or where.