“My original take on this scene was a loud, late night pronouncement from Lester Bangs. A call to arms. In Phil’s hands it became something different. A scene about quiet truths shared between two guys, both at the crossroads, both hurting, and both up too late. It became the soul of the movie. In between takes, Hoffman spoke to no one. He listened only to his headset, only to the words of Lester himself. (His Walkman was filled with rare Lester interviews.) When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. He’d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met. Suddenly the portrait was complete. The crew and I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.”
A moment of levity: a simple, funny outtake from Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film, The Master, in which Hoffman and Phoenix struggle to keep from laughing. Allow this in and let it be the much-needed, lighter moment on an awful day like today, the antidote to all the crap you don’t want to know about Hoffman’s death (and, really, we shouldn’t know the details, they are literally none of our business).
Instead, watch this guy work, and see all the light in him.