Ian McKellen is known for bringing a certain levity to Facebook, but the well-regarded actor paused yesterday to pay touching tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman — an actor whose passing was widely mourned, and one who was summarily held up as potentially the best actor of our generation in the subsequent memorializing.
Hoffman and McKellen had nearly met just recently, as the star explains in his Facebook tribute. However, to the elder actor’s regret, it didn’t happen — probably because, like mostly everyone, Ian McKellen hadn’t expected Philip Seymour Hoffman to die suddenly at the age of just 46.
One of the blessings and curses of the social web is how much we can feel for one another during a sad time, and McKellen’s touching words are a perfect example. In a pre-Facebook time, we might have read or watched sad news and left it there.
Here is the post in its entirety:
McKellen describes Hoffman as “without doubt one of the most accomplished screen actors of our time, recalling how in one performance “Hoffman amazingly shrank the space between him and the audience and made us feel we were spying on his insides.”
“[Philip Seymour Hoffman’s] work on film survives his death, the only consolation in our grief and regret. Last month he came to see our plays at the Cort Theatre. I wish, now more than ever, we had met afterwards, so I could have told him of my admiration.”