Philip Seymour Hoffman. Dead. So sad, such a loss, a great talent gone and in such a wasteful way. When I was a child, my grandmother, who had worked in theatre, had a picture of a famous actress of her day, with whom my grandmother had worked…Meggie Albanesi. I asked about her and Nan said she died of a drug overdose. It was reported as an “intestinal illness”, you did not talk about drugs in those days. “Dont you ever take” drugs said Nan, “they will destroy you”. So, she was proved right …again.
An actors life is tricky, especially after you “make it”. Many people in and out of the industry dont take us very seriously. The public thinks, “they have all the fame and the money, what have they got to worry about”. The industry executives really only think of the money and what you, the actor can add to the bottom line, their profits and liitle beyond that. The actor is simply a piece of merchandise to be bought and sold, beyond that they care little. Of course its not all true, there are people who do care in the business, have a soul and try to look after the actors, but there a fewer now..the box office is all.
For an actor it’s more complicated. You take on a part, a character and you have to live that part 24/7 for the period of time you are filming or in a theatre run. Most of the rest of your life goes out of the window and friends, partners, children do not always understand and why should they? However it’s better if they do. Then it all ends and you are in limbo for a short while, for some, longer. You come face to face with yourself and your life, try to pick up the threads and carry on as usual. You have to have a skin like a rhinoceros, with the gossip and remarks that fly about. “GRAVITY…. it’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.” Funny remark from Amy Peohler and Tina Fey at the Golden Globes. Funny remark? Maybe, but’s personal and many actors not as experienced as Mr Clooney might find it difficult to deal with. Maybe he does.
And I think that often the more talented the actor, the more complex it is. And Philip Seymour Hoffman was very, very talented. You are prey to all the predators lurking around the industry, the money and the fame and that includes the drug dealers. So we have another talented actor taken from us and we are the poorer for it.