[EDITOR: The following was written by AfterTalk co-founder Lisa Bogatin]
It was 1 a.m in our quiet residential neighbor near the Hudson River, a neighborhood where many movies and commercials are shot, whether we like it or not. It must have around the end September and my husband was walking our new puppy. He saw lots of lights and walked toward them , hoping to see what was going on.
There was man taking a break between shots. It was dark when my husband and dog came upon the man. My husband didn’t know if he were cast or crew. Without introducing himself, he approached my husband commenting on how beautiful our dog was. They spoke for about ten minutes about dogs, children, and neighborhoods. The man told my husband he thought our riverfront hamlet was ‘serene.’ and they digressed into real estate chatter. An electronic tone warbled from the set and the man apologized for ending their conversation abruptly, explaining that he had to be back ‘on set.’
It was only when the man turned to leave and the light of the set illuminated his face did my husband realize it was Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“You were fantastic in ‘The Master,” my husband called out after him.
Hoffman stopped and turned back. At that moment the set lights blazed brightly so that half his face was illuminated. He was smiling broadly, bowed, and said a heartfelt ‘thank you.’ Then he turned and was swallowed by the darkness.
When we heard of his untimely passing yesterday, my Husband reflected on the Hoffman’s gentleness and humility. Our hearts go out to his partner and three children, and the many friends who must have cherished this great talent.
It’s funny how life gives you these little magic moments.