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Ebert Wanted Philip Seymour Hoffman to Portray Him

Chaz Ebert describes hopes for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

It has recently come to light that the late Roger Ebert had envisaged the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman would play himself should a film ever be made about him. Few out there would deny that Seymour Hoffman had the ability to have taken on such an important role, the skill he showed portraying Truman Capote being an excellent example of his power to transform himself into another.

It’s been long known that Ebert strongly admired the late actor, he has reviewed many of his performances very highly indeed, and heaped praise upon many of the films in which he has stared, particularly Synecdoche, New York. That Charlie Kaufman written and directed film was described as being the film of the decade by Ebert, with Seymour Hoffman being described as handling an incredibly challenging role with ‘precise evolution’ (Find the article here).

At a Q&A session in New York for the Ebert documentary Life Itself Chaz discussed how her husband had told her of his great admiration for Seymour Hoffman, praising his versatility as a performer and requesting that he was his first choice if a Roger Ebert film were to be suggested.

Sadly now of course this is no longer a possibility as Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away last Sunday (02/02/14) of a suspected heroin overdose. Ebert once wrote this praise in a review of Capote (which you can find here): ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman’s precise, uncanny performance as Capote doesn’t imitate the author so much as channel him’.

Ebert and Hoffman


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