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 theuncool.com)