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The best (small) roles of Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Boogie Nights

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Boogie Nights.

People’s Choice Series at the Rio: Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Rio Theatre, May 26

– by Michael Nevada

On May 26th, the Rio Theatre and 20 Year Media kick off their People’s Choice film series with a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Movie fans were invited to vote for Capote, Boogie Nights or Synechdoche NY through the new movie-aggregating app and social network WannaWatch.it.

Developed in Vancouver, WannaWatch.it is meant to encourage a greater sense of community amongst filmgoers, to help them revisit the excitement around movie nights and make the whole viewing experience social again. The people have spoken and a whole troop of cinephiles will be at the Rio next Monday to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s cult classic, Boogie Nights.

In honor of that event, the Snipe cooked up a top five list of Hoffman’s standout supporting roles. We based our selection on moments where the late actor took a small part and, as he does, made it the most memorable in the film.

5.  The Count (Pirate Radio, 2009)

Hoffman plays the loud-mouthed DJ of pirate radio station, Radio Rock. His charisma and laidback attitude shine in this British comedy.

4. Sandy Lyle (Along Came Polly, 2004)

I know what you’re thinking: “Really? Along Came Polly?” As per the rules of the list, however,we’re showcasing movies where Hoffman stands out. And Hoffman’s character, a former child actor trying to make his big comeback, was the funniest thing about the movie. Say what you will about the film, Hoffman’s rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar” is hilarious.

3.  Dean Trumbell (Punch Drunk Love, 2002)

While the 2002 romantic-comedy showcased Adam Sandler’s acting chops, it was clear who the real scene-stealer was. Hoffman’s slimy phone-sex conman/mattress salesman, Dean Trumbell, only appears in a handful of scenes, but they are the most memorable in the movie.

2.  Lester Bangs (Almost Famous, 2000)

Before Hoffman played a similar eccentric, sage-like role in Pirate Radio, he played a real-life rock journalist in Almost Famous. Lester is a father-like mentor to William (played by Patrick Fugit), and although most of their interactions are through phone calls, he still imbues the character with charm.

1. Scotty J. (Boogie Nights, 1997)

They say there are no small parts, just small actors. Hoffman’s role as porno boom operator Scotty J. is small, but oh so memorable. Hoffman imbues the character with so much pathos in the little screen time he has, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Scotty. It may be the smallest part he’s played in our list, but it’s also where we saw glimpses of the star he would become.

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