Philip Seymour Hoffman In Almost Famous

In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death yesterday, many of his friends and colleagues have offered tributes to the actor. Today Cameron Crowe posted a statement to his website looking back on filming a key scene in which Hoffman played Lester Bangs in the film Almost Famous. It’s a touching tribute to the actor and goes into detail of how taken aback the cast and crew were by his performance and preparation. Read his post and rewatch the scene below.

My original take on this scene was a loud, late night pronouncement from Lester Bangs. A call to arms. In Phil’s hands it became something different. A scene about quiet truths shared between two guys, both at the crossroads, both hurting, and both up too late. It became the soul of the movie. In between takes, Hoffman spoke to no one. He listened only to his headset, only to the words of Lester himself. (His Walkman was filled with rare Lester interviews.) When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. He’d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met. Suddenly the portrait was complete. The crew and I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.

(via Crowe’s website

Comments (4)
  1. id say thats that mattress man.

  2. We lost a good one here…truly one of the greatest, if not the greatest American actor we have currently and that is no exaggeration. A man that was truly wrestling demons, his acting an intense outlet which allowed us all to witness and be amazed. I usually take to celebrity deaths as a tough thing, but not one that I spend much time wallowing over. In this case, I will truly miss whatever that next project was to be…I felt this way when we lost (of all people) Phil Hartman. There are just actors (River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, etc) where what they’ve done was almost as great as what we would eventually get from them. There is now nothing…truly sad.


  3. We’ll all now be meeting up with other actors somewhere ‘in the middle.”

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