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Reactions to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death From Friends and Colleagues In the Indie Film World

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.”

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