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Oscars: Sam Rockwell Explains ‘Great Inspiration’ of ‘Old Buddy’ Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Best Supporting Actor winner dedicated his first Oscar win to his "old buddy" Philip Seymour Hoffman. Backstage, he got to explain why.

Sam Rockwell - Supporting Actor - 'Three Billbiards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'90th Annual Academy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 04 Mar 2018

Sam Rockwell

Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

After picking up his first Oscar for his turn in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Best Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell memorably ended his acceptance speech with a shout-out to departed fellow Oscar winner, Philip Seymour Hoffman. “This is for my old buddy, Phil Hoffman,” Rockwell said. “For my old buddy, Phil Hoffman!”

When the newly minted Oscar winner hit the backstage interview room, he was asked to expand upon his remarks. Clearly pleased that his dedication to Hoffman was heard — he worried that the music was already playing — the actor offered a heartfelt answer.

“I guess you want to start making me cry, but yeah, he was an old friend of mine, and he directed me in a play at the Public Theater,” Rockwell said. “He was very close to me. He was an inspiration to all of my peers, people like Jeffrey Wright, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, everybody. Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, whoever was in my age range.”

Rockwell pointed to Hoffman’s dedication to multiple disciplines and styles of art for why he served as a great inspiration.

“Phil Hoffman was the guy, and he was a great director, and he believed in doing theater, because he vowed to do a play a year, which I don’t know if he really got to do, because he was very busy doing movies,” he said. “But he was a great inspiration and a great theater director. He inspired me, and I could go on for an hour about Phil Hoffman.”

“Philip Seymour Hoffman was a good friend, and he was a huge, huge inspiration on me,” Rockwell concluded.

Additional reporting by Jenna Marotta.

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