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13 Ways of Looking at Philip Seymour Hoffman
Updated September 18, 2009
From Boogie Nights to Pirate Radio, Hoffman’s body of work never loses sight of his body.
Slide 1: Introduction
Without question, Philip Seymour Hoffman rates as one of America’s finest actors. His work as a character actor in some ways has completely redefined that often maligned category. Unlike many actors who use costume and make up to transform themselves into other people, Hoffman appears fairly similar from role to role. And while some actors who gain or drop 50 pounds from role to role, Hoffman’s body––slightly over-weight, sometimes slovenly and he readily admits not the most attractive––rarely changes. Hoffman’s transformations are purely internal, a refocusing of psychic energy on his malleable bulk to create something new with each film. Without barely of ounce of weight shed, or the plucking of single eyebrow, Hoffman shifts our perspective, turning the loser of his earlier films to the fierce alpha male of recent movies.