Cameron Crowe recalls Hoffman magic on the set of Almost Famous

Moviemaker Cameron Crowe has added his name to the long list of celebrities paying tribute to actor Philip Seymour Hoffman after penning an essay about his Almost Famous star on his The Uncool blog. Hoffman died of an apparent drug overdose on Sunday (02Feb14) and many of the actor’s co-stars and famous friends flooded and to pay their respects.
A day after the tragedy unfolded, Crowe remembered Hoffman, who portrayed journalist Lester Bangs in his hit 2000 film.
In his letter, the director recalled a special scene in the movie, which Hoffman made his own.
He wrote: “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.”