Philip Seymour Hoffman was an award winning lead actor, supporting actor, and master of theatre. Here we explore the lessons we can learn from his life; right down to his final moments.
Philip Seymour Hoffman played a wide variety of roles during his fruitful career; from his role as a nurse in the beautiful and mesmerizing Magnolia, to his appearance as an arms dealing madman in Mission Impossible III, straight through to his works in theatre, he was not defined by a single moment, or a single character.
He shows us how to be successful through our diversity. Confining ourself to one job, one role, or one interest only restricts the potential for growth, and makes for missed opportunities.
By being as open as possible, and by allowing ourselves to be diverse, and undefinable, a greater range of potential can flow into our lives.
Be known for your actions:
Many famous actors, and celebrities, gain their following through the publicity around them, and some love to talk about all the brilliant achievements of their lives.
Mr Hoffman was not often found bathing in the limelight. He was not well known for his celebrity antics, or for the intricacies of his personal life. Rather he was known for his brilliance as an actor, and this is what won him his many awards, and the adoration of his fans.
It can be good to talk the talk. But if you can walk well, you can let your talent speak for itself. Philip Seymour Hoffman shows us how to live through our actions, and to be known for our results.
Sometimes, support is everything
Hoffman did not shy away from lead roles. He played the title role in the film “Capote” and won several awards for it, including an Academy Award for Best Actor. He also directed the film “Jack Goes Boating”.
However, much of Hoffman's success in the film industry, came from his scores of supporting roles, and he received Academy Award nominations three times for his supporting roles in “Charlie Wilson's War”, “Doubt”, and “The Master”.
In this lesson, Philip Seymour Hoffman shows us that not all success comes from taking the lead. Like a striker, who is set up by his midfield, and is given safety by his defence, the acting industry is a team game. The final film is a product of a huge team, and performances of those that sit a little further in the background are not overlooked; it is often the support that glues everything together.
In our own lives, it is important to remember to support the people around us; whether it be our work team, or our family and friends, it is important to be comfortable in the role of supporting, as well as being unafraid to take the lead.
The final lesson
Despite Philip Hoffman's outstanding career, and inspiring abilities, his death might present us with his final lesson to the world; never let your vices get the better of you.
Found tragically, dead in his home, Police found evidence of heroin and prescription drugs on the property. Mr Hoffman battled with addiction throughout his life, attending rehab at age 22, and relapsing 20 years later. He was checked into rehab in May 2013.
For his final lesson, Philip Seymour Hoffman shows us that behind every great man, there are a set of vices. It is the task of all of us to overcome these vices so that our talent, and success, dies of natural causes, and so that our final lesson to the world, is not a tragic one.