A True Gift to the Arts


Big loss. Gifted. Amazing. 



He played just enough of the scene and, then, he switched back to being Phil, the regular guy in the baggy shorts. It was stunning. “I don’t know how he does it,” Mike Nichols, who has directed Hoffman on the stage (“The Seagull”) and in movies (“Charlie Wilson’s War”), told me later. “Again and again, he can truly become someone I’ve not seen before but can still instantly recognize. Sometimes Phil loses some weight, and he may dye his hair but, really, it’s just the same Phil, and yet, he’s never the same person from part to part. Last year, he did three films — ‘The Savages,’ ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ and ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ — and in each one he was a distinct and entirely different human. It’s that humanity that is so striking — when you watch Phil work, his entire constitution seems to change. He may look like Phil, but there’s something different in his eyes. And that means he’s reconstituted himself from within, willfully rearranging his molecules to become another human being.” (NY Times)

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