RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman
& Thanks for One Last (Awful) Illuminating Performance

I heard about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing while on my way to pick up my daughters from their Sunday morning rehearsals at a West Hollywood acting school they attend. (Incidentally they are doing Legally Blonde and Diddy is Elle and it’s AMAZEBALLS for her and me because off all sorts of things not least which is my joy at passing my deep love of musical theater to my kids.)

CHK philip seymore hoffman

My kids are not taking acting lessons because I have any desire AT ALL for them to grow up and be actors. (Putting Gaga in my movie more than made me clear on THAT).

In fact, I chose their acting school because I am fairly certain NO ONE ever gets scouted off that stage. It’s adorable. There is literally no pressure for anyone there to out-perform anyone else. Every once in awhile there’s a kid who blows your socks off (last semester it was the kid who played the Beast in Beauty and the Beast) but in general all the kids are equally bad on stage and no one seems to be getting any better.

I am cool with that.

But before anybody gets the wrong idea: I don’t hate actors. I have a lot of actor friends. They are lovely people, and most of them are not insane. That’s why I love them and have chosen to hang out with them whenever I get the opportunity and raise my kids among them and generally adore them.


Many many other actors are insane. They are deeply troubled creatures on any number of other levels. Some of this is just the dark side of whatever deep psychological well you need to draw from in order to be a truly great performer.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was a truly great performer.

He was also, apparently, deeply troubled.

I say this because, IMobviouslyexpertO, only deeply troubled adults, living fairly adult lives, raising kids with partners (ex-or-otherwise), stick needles in their arms and pump themselves full of heroin.

Honestly, I find it kind of mind-boggling that considering all the other, easier ways to get hella high that were at this man’s disposal, he went with THAT.

In fact, I spent most of yesterday being pretty pissed off at how stupid PSH was in this particular instance. I was sad, yes. This guy was the real deal. So friggin’ talented. And honestly, a true contemporary. Even more so than Paul Walker, who spoke for the most part, to the generation below me.

PSH spoke to US.

For which I thank him.

I also thank him for this:

This morning, over breakfast, Diddy asked MrBigIdeas who that guy on the front page of the newspaper was.

MrBigIdeas told her he was a famous actor who died.

At which point I said:

You know what? I want to tell you why he died. That man was incredibly talented. That was why he was so famous. He was really really good at his job. But he took drugs, and they killed him. Drugs kill. Period. He was a grown-up, he should have known better, and drugs killed him ANYWAY.

Diddy nodded. Gaga nodded.

Sausage helpfully added, “That man died.”

Pancake continued eating his waffle.


Thank you, PSH, for all the wonderful wonderful work you did.

Every moment you were on screen was illuminating.

As was your tragic tragic tragic death.

Thank you for letting my family learn something from that, too.










I'm Just Looking for Some Grown-Ups to Talk To ...

Categories: Spouting Off.

Sarah Kate Levy

Once upon a time I wanted to be a novelist in NY. FOUR KIDS LATER I'm a
screenwriter in LA who blogs about parenting, partnering, and the decline of civilization / my home.

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