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by Indiewire
February 3, 2014 10:14 AM
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Reactions to Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death From Friends and Colleagues In the Indie Film World

As news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's passing circulated on Sunday afternoon, Indiewire reached out to members of the independent film community who knew and worked with the actor throughout his career. Here are the responses we've received, updated as more come in.

Robert Redford, director and President and Founder, Sundance Institute

“Philip Seymour Hoffman was very supportive of the Sundance labs. For me, he had such a high respect for his craft and for the creative process more broadly. He dug so deep into his characters: he brought darkness to light."

Rose Kuo, former executive director, Film Society of Lincoln Center

"Phillip Seymour Hoffman was an artist who kept his eye on the art. He was a humble, generous and kind man who, during my tenure at the FIlm Society, worked as an advisory board member for the Filmmaker-in-Residence program and as a mentor to emerging filmmakers in the Artist Academy.  He always asked if he could skip receptions, lunches, and parties.  He was only interested in spending time with the filmmakers and helping them shape their work and careers."

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Sony Pictures Classics (Distributor of "Capote")

"We are devastated. We have lost a true friend, a great human being and a supreme artist. Words fail here."

Anton Corbijn, director, "A Most Wanted Man"

"Hearing that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away came as much as a shock to me as to anyone else I’d imagine. We spent some time together only two weeks ago and he seemed in a good place despite some issues he had to deal with. He was not only the most gifted actor I ever worked with (and judging by the legacy he leaves behind I am certain I share this with most if not all directors who were fortunate enough to work with him), he had also become an incredibly inspiring and supportive friend. I am so terribly sad as I find it impossible to comprehend what happened today and to collect my thoughts properly. I have to think about Mimi and the children and I wish them much strength coping with the loss of this truly great man as a father and partner."

Kenneth Lonergan, director

"Everyone I know is sick with shock. It's a horrible loss for everyone; I can't imagine what it is for Mimi and the children. All I know is they need our help if there's any help to be given. The rest is gossip. I don't know what else to say yet about a tragedy I've barely had time to believe."

Mike Nichols, director, "Charlie Wilson's War"

"No words for this.  He was too great and we’re too shattered."

Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Sundance Film Festival

"I first met Phil Hoffman when he came to the Sundance June Directors Lab as part of the Acting Ensemble. He was the only choice of the director Kazuo Ohno for his script Mr. Crumpacker. To everyone's surprise and relief, Phil said yes. At the Directors Lab, I was struck by Phil's kindness and generosity to Kazuo. With simplicity and directness, Phil taught Kazuo how to work with actors and how exciting it could be to collaborate and build a character. For those of us at the Lab, we couldn't wait to see what Phil would bring to the role of this eccentric, bombastic character searching for meaning and connection in the surreal world that Kazuo created. The scenes were funny, tender and completely original, Phil infused the character with a deep humanity and complexity. Several years later, Phil returned to the Directors Lab as a Creative Advisor and brought his passion for the work and infectious energy to the process, challenging the directors to get messy and take risks in their own work. Seeing Phil at the Sundance Festival several weeks ago, I could only hope that he might be available this June to come back."


  • Rania | February 6, 2014 10:29 AMReply

    I always felt lucky to live near such a super talented actor and see him in the neighborhood. He was outrageously great with his friend John C. Reilly in TRUE WEST at the Circle in the Square in 2000.

  • DACALOR Rudy Pierre CINEMA73 | February 6, 2014 7:56 AMReply

    About Philip Seymour Hoffman, Un grand et un génie, je suis un peu triste. pour moi, il avait le talent d'un Orson Wells. paix, et condoléances, pour toute sa famille et ses amis (es).

  • Indie Film Minute | February 3, 2014 3:02 PMReply

    We had met Phillip several times over the years. A quiet and gentle soul with a raging talent. As we have so often said in our pieces about his films, he was one of a very few actors who made every film he was associated with better, remarkably better. He was reason enough to look forward to any new film he was in, and for this, the future has changed its hue.

    Rest in peace.

  • Hanna Drolly | February 3, 2014 1:54 PMReply

    Yes, it is sad. Yes, he was a great actor. But he also was a heroin addict. Thousands of them die under the same circumstances every day. They all have family ... nobody writes about their death, they are just "junkies" who weren't careful enough. Now Hoffman was a heroin addict AND had three small children. It was his choice to seek the drug again. He chose the wrong way. Irresponsibly. May his relatives be able to make their peace.

  • Dave's Hat | February 3, 2014 10:52 PM

    Take it easy, you meddling kids. In condemning Hanna Drolly, you're doing the exact thing you said not to do. You don't know what Hanna Drolly's experience is. And the cold hard truth of it is: Hanna is right. There was no judgement in Hanna's statements, only mathematical fact. Only YOU fools judged (and me too, by calling you "fools".)

  • JM | February 3, 2014 10:15 PM

    I think those heroine addicts who do die every day are written about. In obituaries and through their loved ones' memories and through society's fight against addiction. Still, it's not society or the media's fault that those people's legacy and the pedestal they're placed on in death's early light, isn't as prominent or noticed as Hoffman's. PS Hoffmann was a renowned actor. I think it common sense to most that his death would be so spoken about more widely. It certainly isn't to the dishonor of so many who have lost their own battle with addiction.

    If that were the case, then anytime someone notable dies, you must feel equally offended that everyone else who's lost their battle with life (which to my knowledge -- death is still batting 100% there) isn't remarked about in mass media. The page is only so big, after all.

  • anonforareason | February 3, 2014 4:19 PM

    These nameless "junkies" that aren't receiving all the love, well as I recall, many of the comments, tweets, etc I have read, quite a few include a statement about the masses of addicts who we don't even know that are suffering, and also dying, every day. They're not named because we don't know their names. We do know Phillip Seymour Hoffman's name. Just because he was an addict does not mean we cannot honor his life and his work. And if all the nameless "junkies" are remembered by association, so much the better. Where do you get off? If you've never been in that situation you can't possibly understand how an addiction takes over your brain, how it f&%ks it up. And who are you to judge regardless? "May his relatives be able to make their peace." Please, save your self-righteous pontificating for your own blog.

  • Barbara Barrey | February 3, 2014 12:49 PMReply

    Words fail .....

  • Antonio Saillant | February 3, 2014 10:33 AMReply

    Philip Seymour Hoffman will be missed as I am truly saddened by this horrendous news. He will always be considered one of my favorite actors of all time.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Philip last year in a restaurant and we had such a great genuine conversation about life.

    Rest in Peace my friend.