Macy has nothing but admiration for his “Boogie Nights” co-star, though he now recognizes that “Phil’s burden of life was heavier than other people’s.”
Eight years have passed since the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, but the Oscar winner lives on through his films and the memories of his peers. In a new interview with Vulture, his “Boogie Nights” co-star William H. reflected on Macy Hoffman’s brilliance as an actor and the demons that haunted him throughout his life.
“He was the best of us; he was never bad,” Macy said of Hoffman. “And I don’t know if it’s just looking back, but now I see he was in pain. I think the weight of life was heavier for Phil than for other people.”
Macy recalled that the two actors once got into a debate about one of Hollywood’s current favorite topics – method acting. And while they disagreed on the right approach, the conversation helped Macy understand just how sensitive Hoffman was.
“I think we were at a panel together at Sundance with ‘State and Main’ and someone asked about the preparation,” Macy said. “I don’t do much prep, everything I need is in the script. The character is a trick we play on the audience – you don’t have to live the character. This is not acting, this is a mental illness. And Phil disagreed. He said: “No, I think there are things you can do to come into the world. Whatever is going on you have to find it within yourself and I think you have to delve into the world of it.’ We walked back and forth, it was an interesting conversation, and then all of a sudden I realized, ‘What am I saying to him?’ I said, “Whatever you do is brilliant as hell all the time,” and he said, “Thanks, and I think you do too, no matter what you say.” But it was a small window to just how deep he was felt things.”
Even 25 years after they shared the screen in Boogie Nights, Macy still thinks about Hoffman’s captivating performance in the Paul Thomas Anderson film.
“I think of him on ‘Boogie Nights’ when he shows up in these undersized clothes and he’s holding the clipboard close to his chest and chewing on the pencil when he’s trying to flirt with Dirk Diggler — it’s heartbreaking,” Macy said . “And I never saw him in that role again. From that point on he played much stronger characters. And I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do.”
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/10/william-h-macy-on-working-with-philip-seymour-hoffman-1234770888/ William H. Macy on working with Philip Seymour Hoffman