Phil Parma

Another year goes by, and Philip Seymour Hoffman keeps kicking ass and being the best thing in whatever movie he appears in. Right now, you can check him out in either Synedoche, New York or Doubt (I’ve seen the former, not the latter, but they both seem to be unwieldy first-time directorial efforts from well-regarded writers). I thought I’d add my 2005 profile of Hoffman to the archives here, if only so you could enjoy Paul Thomas Anderson’s reaction to my theory that the name of the Hoffman character “Phil Parma” in Magnolia is a reference to ham. (Factual updates since the article was printed: Hoffman did end up winning the Best Actor Oscar for Capote, bruited as a possiblity in this article. PTA made a movie without Hoffman. And by the time Have You Heard? was released, it had been renamed Infamous.)

I ran into Hoffman on a downtown New York City playground about a year after this story was printed; I was there with my son, he was accompanied by his young son Cooper and infant daughter Tallulah. I reintroduced myself and we had a friendly chat–which ended when I made a funny face at Tallulah, hoping to make her giggle, and instead induced hysterical squalling. Hoffman was amused, at least.

posted 15 December 2008 in Archives, Articles and tagged , . no comments yet

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