Arizona Daily Wildcat Online
Front Page
· Basketball
· Columnists
Live Culture
Police Beat
Photo Spreads
Special Sections
The Wildcat
Letter to the Editor
Wildcat staff
Job Openings
Advertising Info
Student Media
Arizona Student Media info
UATV - student TV
KAMP - student radio
The Desert Yearbook
Daily Wildcat staff alumni

The Other Hoffman

Photo courtesy of Image Management
Philip Seymour Hoffman has been in films like "Boogie Nights," "Punch-Drunk Love," "The Big Lebowski" and will star as Truman Capote in the upcoming film "Capote." He will present some of his films this weekend at The Loft Cinema.
By Lindsey Muth
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Print this

'That guy' Hoffman presents his own flicks at film festival

He sharted in "Along Came Polly," huffed model airplane fuel in "Love Liza" and masturbated while making obscene phone calls in "Happiness." He can make the most obscene characters sympathetic, the most pathetic loveable. There's something about this guy that speaks to the underdog in all of us. Even if you didn't already know his name, you probably recognized him. "Oh yeah, that guy!" you probably said. "I love that guy!"

Philip Seymour Hoffman calls himself Phil. He phoned a few days ago to talk about the current tribute to his work happening at The Loft Cinema in Tucson, in which he is screening and discussing his films "Magnolia," "Almost Famous," "Owning Mahowny" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley." One of his favorites, "The Bad News Bears," will also show.

Wildcat: Why did you choose "Bad News Bears" of all the films in the world to present at The Loft?

Hoffman: Kind of for the reason why you're asking. Of all the movies in the world, you know ... why don't we watch something that's really fun and really good? Instead of picking "8 1/2" by Fellini, I picked one of my favorite films.

If you go ...
Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman
Film: "Almost Famous"
Rated: R
123 mins.
May 14, 5:15 p.m.

Film: "Owning Mahowny"
Rated: R
105 mins.
May 14, 7:45 p.m.
Q&A follows

Film: "The Bad News Bears"
Rated: PG
102 mins.
May 15, 11:30 a.m.
Introduced by Hoffman

Film: "The Talented Mr. Ripley"
Rated: R
138 mins
May 15, 2 p.m.
Q&A follows

Wildcat: I guess I was just wondering what you liked about it.

Hoffman: You don't like it?

Wildcat: No! I do like it! I guess I was just wondering if it's a childhood favorite ...

Hoffman: It is. It's an adult favorite, too. I think everyone will be reminded how great that film is. ... I mean it's like a really well-made movie. It's like when they knew how to mix commercial and art, you know, and have both exist together in a really great way. Back in the '70s, they did that all the time, you know, and this film's an example.

Wildcat: Coming to Tucson is sort of an abnormal thing for a famous actor to do. Why are you doing it?

Hoffman: Because my brother was there, and he had a good time there and he showed a film that we did together. ... They asked about me doing this for The Loft and I said, "Yeah."... I think just for the very reason that it's not in New York or something, like that is why I'm doing it. I don't think I would do a retrospective of my work here in New York (laughs). You know, I mean I'm only 36 years old, so ... I think at The Loft, it's more about supporting a theater house, you know, that serves and supports, and having a good time with the community. ... I try not to make too big a deal out of it.

Wildcat: Do people assume you're a weird person because of the roles you've played? Or do weird people get a little too cozy with you?

Hoffman: I think people try to make themselves comfortable no matter what. It's like a human instinct. You're trying to adapt somehow and people do weird things sometimes to adapt to their nervousness or anxiety, including myself. ... Like this woman from (my) high school, she had to find a way to talk about (my fame) as if it was a mundane thing. She had to say, "I see 'you' up there." And I was like, "Oh." I kind of wanted to say, "You see me up there, like in 'Boogie Nights,' that's how I was in high school?" (laughs) But that was her way of going, "Hey, it's OK, this thing, right?" And that's cool, you know.

Wildcat: Have you heard that you look like Jack Black or Matthew Broderick?

Hoffman: I don't think I look like Jack Black at all. I think people think I look like him because ... we're big with our comedy sometimes. It's always so strange 'cause I don't think we look at all alike. Um, I have heard that about Matthew Broderick, even though I think he's much more handsome ...

Wildcat: Do you want to talk about your new baby?

Hoffman: He's amazing, and um, it's hard having a baby, you know. But it's the best thing in the world, so you put up with it. Like we always say, if he wasn't so cute ... basically, that's the deal. It's like no matter what happens, you basically love him anyway, and you can't help but loving him more and more, so you just deal with it, whatever it is.

Wildcat: Will it be awkward when your kid sees some of your films, like "Happiness"?

Hoffman: He's going to grow up in this world, you've got to remember. You know what I mean? He's going to understand more than anybody what a film is.

Wildcat: Do you ever look at your life and just get weirded out? Like, do you ever think to yourself, "I'm wearing a really expensive T-shirt"?

Hoffman: Um, the only time I do anything like that has nothing to do with the clothes I wear or anything like that 'cause I really don't dress much differently than I did before. The fact that I know I just have money, that I can eat what I want to eat and other things like that. I have a terrace on my apartment in New York City even though my apartment isn't that huge, but I have a place I can go outside. But I also know if I don't work for another six months, I won't have any money anymore (laughs). So it's a misconception. It's a minority of people that are actors that are extremely wealthy ... and then there's a chunk of us that make a very good living. Most of us are poor. Most actors, even the ones that you think might be working, are still struggling. I'm the lucky one, somebody who makes a very good living. ... But it's not in such a stratosphere, it's not in such a globe that I'm like, "Oh my God! P. Diddy just showed up in his car; we're going to the zoo!" You know?

Wildcat: Do you think you stick to the theater and more independent films in order to keep yourself from becoming a superstar?

Hoffman: There might be something true to that, unconsciously.

Hoffman will be presenting films at The Loft Cinema Friday and Saturday. For more information, call The Loft at 795-7777.

Write a Letter to the Editor
The Other Hoffman
The best of 2004
Survivor's guide: graduation grub
Commentary: I cut myself on soup
Housing Guide
University of Arizona Visitor's Guide
Restaurant and Bar guide
Search for:
advanced search Archives

Webmaster -
© Copyright 2003 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media