Phil Hoffman and I had two things in common. We were both fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts. Of course I’d known Phil’s work for a long time — since his remarkably perfect film debut as a privileged, cowardly prep-school kid in Scent of a Woman — but I’d never met him until the first table read for Charlie Wilson’s War, in which he’d been cast as Gust Avrakotos, a working-class CIA agent who’d fallen out of favor with his Ivy League colleagues. A 180-degree turn.
On breaks during rehearsals, we would sometimes slip outside our soundstage on the Paramount lot and get to swapping stories. It’s not unusual to have these mini-AA meetings — people like us are the only ones to whom tales of insanity don’t sound insane. “Yeah, I used to do that.” I told him I felt lucky because I’m squeamish and can’t handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish. And he said this: “If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.” He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean.
So it’s in that spirit that I’d like to say this: Phil Hoffman, this kind, decent, magnificent, thunderous actor, who was never outwardly “right” for any role but who completely dominated the real estate upon which every one of his characters walked, did not die from an overdose of heroin — he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine.
He didn’t die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed — he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it. He’ll have his well-earned legacy — his Willy Loman that belongs on the same shelf with Lee J. Cobb’s and Dustin Hoffman’s, his Jamie Tyrone, his Truman Capote and his Academy Award. Let’s add to that 10 people who were about to die who won’t now.
Chances are you’ve probably heard of comedian Paul Scheer. One of the creators of the monumental Human Giant, Scheer is the star of shows like The League, Burning Love andNTSF:SD:SUV::, as well as host of “How Did This Get Made?” with June Diane Raphael and Jason…
“'Who wins in a fight between The Rock and a kaiju from Pacific Rim? Both are equally big and bulky.' … Well, look. This is what I say. The Rock can defeat anything. You think a kaiju is gonna… this guy is pure positivity, and he's gonna just pysch that kaiju out. He's gonna be like, 'Bring it, kaiju! My legs are bigger than the average person's neck. I'm gonna destroy you with my positive vibes and just rocking some solid tweets at you.' The Rock is just gonna be like, 'Kaiju, keep up the good work! I know you wanna wreck that bridge, but buddy, I love America and I need to beat you down.' I would like to see The Rock in one of those robots, so you have The Rock in a robot beating one up, because I feel like that would have made Pacific Rim that much more amazing. So whenever you put a kaiju against The Rock, forget it. The Rock every time. I'm gonna bet on The Rock 90% of times. The only time I'm not gonna bet on The Rock is when he does a child's movie.”—Paul Scheer weighs in on The Rock, How Did This Get Made episode 80.5 (via twentyghosts)