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Philip Seymour Hoffman was a man in control for most of his life. His co-workers and bosses commonly used words like “professional” and “reliable” to describe his work ethic and “brilliant” and “Oscar-worthy” to describe his performances. During the last days of his life, however, he was apparently anything but the confident and reliable virtuoso everyone was so familiar with. In fact, he was reportedly the exact opposite.
Stories are starting to flood in from all different directions about odd encounters people had with Hoffman near the end, and together, they paint a pretty disturbing picture. Back in December, according to TMZ, he confided in a group of friends that he was using again. One asked him how bad it was, and he reportedly said, “If I don’t stop, I know I’m going to die.” Whether it was a cry for help or an honest appraisal of his situation is unclear, but either way, it’s haunting.
A few weeks later at Sundance, Hoffman, who was unrecognizable in a large hat, was at a party when he was approached by magazine publisher John Arundel and asked what he did for a living. According to Page 6, he responded by saying, “I’m a heroin addict.” Later in the conversation, the publisher eventually realized who he was talking to, and Hoffman admitted he’d recently gotten out of rehab. In addition, there were others who apparently saw the actor drinking and going in and out of a bathroom in Atlanta and knocking back Bloody Marys on a recent plane trip.
It is sickening to think about how Hoffman’s life ended. He was a father, a longtime partner to Mimi O’Donnell and an incredible talent. By all accounts, he was a genuinely nice guy too. We shouldn’t gloss over how he left this world. Hopefully, his horrible choices will serve as an example to others, but given the decades he spent as a reliable performer, we’d all be better off remembering him as he was at his best.