Home Just...wow. The 25 Best Philip Seymour Hoffman Quotes

The 25 Best Philip Seymour Hoffman Quotes

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Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in “Capote” and created a gallery of other vivid characters, many of them slovenly and slightly dissipated comic figures, died Sunday. He was 46. His work in “Along Came Polly,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Capote,” “Almost Famous,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Master,” “Doubt,” and on and on and on. Such a tragic loss, and he will be missed deeply.

“I had insecurities and fears like everybody does, and I got over it. But I was interested in the parts of me that struggled with those things.”

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” – As Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous.”

“I didn’t go out looking for negative characters; I went out looking for people who have a struggle and a fight to tackle. That’s what interests me.”

“The ambition, the drive, the wanting to be the center of attention, the wanting to succeed… They’re all inside me somewhere.”

“Creating anything is hard.”

“I think you should be serious about what you do because this is it. This is the only life you’ve got.”

“If you’re a human being walking the earth, you’re weird, you’re strange, you’re psychologically challenged.”

“My soul is in good shape.”

“People actually live with their id exposed. They’re not good at concealing what’s going on inside.”

“The weight comes off, you know? If you stop with the bread and the pie, it really does. It really works. The size of my head though is pretty abnormal.”

“You know the circus performer who spins the plates in the air you know, and he’ll spin six or seven plates in the air? Acting sometimes is kind of that guy spinning all those plates in the air but in your head and in your body.”

“Being unemployed is not good for an actor. No, it isn’t, no matter how unsuccessful you are. Because you always remember getting fired from all the restaurants. You remember that stuff very, very strongly.”

“A lot of people describe me as chubby, which seems so easy, so first-choice. Or stocky. Fair-skinned. Tow-headed. There are so many other choices. How about dense? I mean, I’m a thick kind of guy. But I’m never described in attractive ways. I’m waiting for somebody to say I’m at least cute. But nobody has.”

“To have that concentration to act well is like lugging things up staircases in your brain. I think that’s a thing people don’t understand. It is that exhausting. If you’re doing it well, if you’re concentrating the way you need to, if your will and your concentration and emotional and imagination and emotional life are all in tune, concentrated and working together in that role, that is just like lugging weights upstairs with your head…And I don’t think that should get any easier.”

“Other people disagree with me, but Scent of a Woman really was my breakthrough. I was working in the prepared foods section of a deli when I was cast in that movie, and I’ve never had a non-acting job since. That’s amazing.’

“Sometimes I’m working on a film and someone will ask me if I’m having fun. And I’m tempted to tell them the truth: No, absolutely not. Having no fun here at all. You know what’s going to be fun? When it’s done, and I’ve done a fuckin’ good job, and I know people are getting something out of that. I’ll have a lot of fun then. A ton of it.”

“I think therapy is a helpful thing. I think everyone knows it. You do it for your life, you do it for yourself, because you want to explore some things, and get at the bottom of some things. It’s about your life, the quality of your life.”

“I have a fine level of recognition in the business and among the acting community now, so I consider myself one of the lucky ones. If I didn’t think that, there would be something wrong with me. I’m grateful and thankful for what I’ve got.”

“Vanity is something that will only get in the way of doing your best work, and ultimately if you’re truly vain you care more about your work than how you look in your work. I actually consider myself a pretty vain guy when it comes to that.”

“Acting is so difficult for me that, unless the work is of a certain stature in my mind, unless I reach the expectations I have of myself, I’m unhappy. Then it’s a miserable existence. I’m putting a piece of myself out there. If it doesn’t do anything, I feel so ashamed. I’m afraid I’ll be the kind of actor who thought he would make a difference and didn’t. Right now, though, I feel like I made a little bit of difference.”

“I think Magnolia is one of the best films I’ve ever seen and I can say that straight and out and anybody that disagrees with me I’ll fight you to the death. I just think it is one of the greatest films I’ve ever been in and ever seen.”

“It’s not by going into ‘the business,’. The business can’t be a thought. You get a foothold because you want to get a foothold as an artist. Your desire, your intensity, has to be about being a great actor or a great painter or a great musician. If that’s strong enough, it’ll lead you to good teachers and to places where you’ll learn. For me, the business wasn’t a thought. I was doing a play, and a friend in the play said, ‘My manager is here tonight and she wants to meet you.’ And I said, ‘Oh.’ And that’s how I got a manager.’”

“On my down time I do a lot of nothing. I just kinda read, run and hang out with friends because I haven’t had a lot of it lately. I just try to do a lot of nothing. Go to some sports. I like to play tennis. I travel a lot with my work now so if you are travelling all the time you don’t want to travel you want to stay home. And when you stay home you really don’t want to do too much because you’ve been going out and getting up early and staying out late all the time. So you just do very little.”

“Study, find all the good teachers and study with them, get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It’s not worth it if you are just in it for the money.You have to love it.”

“I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they’re beautiful and famous and rich. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’d be dead.’”