Cameron Crowe Pays Tribute to His ‘Almost Famous’ Star Philip Seymour Hoffman

Cameron Crowe Pays Tribute to His 'Almost Famous' Star Philip Seymour Hoffman

The filmmaker credited his Lester Bangs actor with changing a crucial scene that became “the soul of the movie”

“Almost Famous” writer-director Cameron Crowe took to his blog, The Uncool, to pay tribute to late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who played famed music critic Lester Bangs in the film.

Crowe credited Hoffman with changing the tone of a crucial scene in “Almost Famous” that became the “soul of the movie.”

Also Read: Philip Seymour Hoffman Death: Appreciating an Everyman Actor and Extraordinary Talent

The filmmaker reveals that Hoffman kept to himself in between takes, preferring to listen to rare Lester Bangs interviews rather than mingle with his co-stars.

Crowe's tribute may be short and sweet, but it illustrates the lengths Hoffman would go to for his art, and how his performances helped shape that art.

Also Read: 22 of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Most Memorable Movie Roles (Photos)

Read the statement in full below:

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.

  • SPIKE

    Hoffman, you're a fool addict who couldn't control your life so you wouldn't O.D.

    Seriously, I'm tired of he instant accolades all these bozos get from O.D.'ing. How stupid can you get to buy crank from a dealer, not knowing how much it's been cut, is it pure? OR what's in it?

    what a jerk. He has no responsibility for himself, and zero for the people who care about him, who love him and who are grieving for him now. what a total jerk.

    PLEASE, EVERYONE, NO MORE APPLAUSE FOR THE SCREW UPS OF THIS WORLD. FAMOUS? NOT FAMOUS? IT DOESN'T MATTER. CRANK KILLS. CRANK DESTROYS LIVES. GET IT? SO STOP BLOODY APPLAUDING FOR GOD'S SAKE. STOP GOING WELL DONE TO ALL YOUR GOOD WORK PHILIP. JUST REALIZE HE SCREWED UP AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES. AND DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO HELP KEEP PEOPLE AWAY FROM DRUGS. EDUCATE USERS IS THE THING TO DO. DENY THE DEALERS THE USERS.

    AND FOR ALL YOU FOOLS OUT THERE SHOOTING CRANK: GET REAL! YOU'RE FLIRTING WITH DEATH EVERY TIME YOU SHOOT UP. GET IT, BOZOS?

    • Thomas Brown

      The fact that he died of a heroin overdose doesn't negate his greatness or the good that he did in his lifetime. He was a brilliant actor. He was a father of 3 children. He was loved by many people who knew him personally, and yes, admired by millions who never even met him.
      So, you're upset because of the outpouring of grief and of love and admiration for the man? Try looking at the bigger picture — and get over your petty grievances.

    • Chris Michaels

      Hey Spike,
      You're just jealous because this guy did more with his life and had more talent than you'll ever amount to even if you live to be 100. He's not being memorialized for his drug use; the tragedy of that speaks for itself. You're real gripe is that he was a heroin addict, yet still lived a way more successful life than you.

      That's what makes you mad. It's not like you give a crap about his loved ones or their feelings, so lay off the self-righteous indignation.

  • Visitor_Again

    Pray tell me what is your evidence for the connection you posit between drug use and applauding the accomplishments of an actor who died of a drug overdose. There is none. Do you actually believe someone is going to read a glowing account of Hoffman's career and, as a result, use drugs? Hoffman's death from an overdose is suficient to deter anyone of sound mind and rational thought from using drugs without your screeching.

    Hoffman is getting the accolades he would have received had he died in an automobile accident or any other way, and he deserves them for a fine body of work. Presumably you would have us ignore, too, the accomplishments of the many supremely talented artists who have died of drug overdoses.

    It is evident you subscribe to the Nancy Reagan antidote for drug abuse: “Just say no.” Were it only so easy and so simple. You have no idea of the horrors of the mental diseases that can lead to drug abuse, sometimes even among those society deems most successful.

    Never mind compassion.

  • Karla

    I too agree that the silent killer which so many struggle with and live with much of their life….. is mental illness and often, the subsequent need to self medicate with the drug of their choice to relieve their pain is their hope for just being able to function and exist. The tragedy of addicitions is that there is no cure per se…. much like the diabetic who requires the responsibility to take their insulin, as addicts, we are required to take our “medicine” on a consistent basis, above all else. For if we do not- the reality that the addiction will take over our lives again is inevitable.
    Addiction is a progressive disease. The comment that “the further you are from your last drink/drug use…. the closer you are to your next. People perhaps will reliaze the magnitude of this devastation of death from addiction when they find out that Alcahol and drugs kill more people every year than car accidents, cancer, and war!!!! As an addict,’
    There is help out there and although one might slip or relapse, I believe that since this illness is genetic…. the best gift I can give my children is my sobriety.

    • KC

      I agree with the previous post. And there are millions of food addicts dying every year of complications of obesity, bulimia, and suicide. Addiction is a mental -physical/biological and spiritual disease that society has not yet recognized as being a disease. Society feels for those stricken with cancer, and other diseases and we need to start recognizing addicts dont choose to be addicts. They are born that way and there is away to put thr disease in remission by getting 12 step recovery. Relapsing is the nature of the disease but one day at a time we can recover.