This is my official tribute to Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman, but it isn’t just a tribute, it comes with a message and a warning. You see since I moved to LA I have encountered, become friendly with or even relatively close friends with now 7 people who have taken their ownlife. It is not my place to judge or even guess as to why this “permanent solution, to a temporary problem” choice…was necessary in their eyes. No clue. I would not begin to be arrogant enough to venture to presume or even guess what pain they felt or all of the elements in their life and their past that led them to that fatal decision. All I know is, that I have seen it a lot in Hollywood with people like Mr. Hoffman, and much more personally in my own life with 7 good folks.
It is hard for any of us to imagine how such a talented, successful man as Mr. Hoffman would want to even tempt fate but then again…this is why they call it an addiction. But PSH wasn’t just addicted to drinking or weed, he was addicted to Heroin…which we all know is a much larger and more dangerous addiction. Some years ago, while speaking at The Actors’ Network, I acknowledged PSH as one of my favorite actors of all time…not just because he was good but because he wasn’t a pretty boy and he didn’t seem to seek out the “Hollywood” crazy life and do a bunch of silly crap to be in the trades all the time.
However, beneath him much like one of my favorite roles of his…in Twister, clearly was a level of turmoil and twisting that only those closest to him must have really known about or even remotely understood. It is of course tragic, sad, a loss and leaves a gap in our minds and hearts…of what could have been. So this leads me to the purpose of this entry into my Blog series and that is “happiness.” One of the most simple and yet difficult concepts ever known to mankind, and still, it is so hard to achieve and maintain on so many levels.
To me the best tribute that I could give, do or be for Mr. PSH, is to ensure that I’m always moving towards another state of happiness. Something that keeps me headed in the direction that I truly desire, making decisions that are in the best interest of my happiness (and yes regardless of what others think) and always looking to improve even just the slightest bit because regressing or falling back is so very easy to do with you’re an artist or creative person in a difficult profession with no guarantees.
I urge you all, all who are reading, to really realize this statement of mine…that I have been making for over 20 years: “Being an actor does not mean you are required to ever make a dime, be a star, or win an Oscar.” There is NO pressure for you to succeed in the way PSH did or any other idols you may have within this profession. If the “work” makes you happy, then do it, and if the lifestyle of doing that work takes you somewhere away from Hollywood, New York, London or anywhere else and/or NEVER brings you to any of those cities…it does not make you a lesser talent or actor. BE HAPPY. Whoever you entertain with your talents and wherever they enjoy your entertainment find a way to be at peace with that in some way. If that is in a marketplace where you make money or even Hollywood then fine, but if it isn’t…that is ok too. Just find a way to truly enjoy it or for the love of your life…and all those who care for you…put it down, and do something else.
Always on your side, @TheKevinE