‘Marvelous’ actor mourned
Philip Seymour Hoffman was a brilliant actor. He was a character actor, the kind of guy you see in all sorts of movies but can’t remember his name.
I knew Hoffman’s name, because he played one of my all-time favorite characters in one of my all time favorite movies, “The Big Lebowski.”
Hoffman played Brandt, the professional yes-man for the eponymous Jeffrey Lebowski. He’s a minor character, who probably has less than 15 minutes of total screen time. But those were some good minutes.
The little quirks he adds to the role, particularly in the scene where Brandt is showing The Dude around the Lebowski mansion, shows an actor who was detail oriented and totally at ease with himself.
Interesting thing that most people don’t notice about the Brandt: He’s one of the few characters in the movie, outside of Donny and Walter, who refer to lead character as “Dude.”
Here’s the scene where Hoffman earns his paycheck. (Language NSFW)
“We have been frantically trying to reach you, Dude.” Love it. The line. The delivery. Hoffman, sitting there, managing to look sincere and yet artificial at the same time.
Hoffman won the Oscar for his portrayal of Truman Capote. I don’t dispute that he deserved it, though the movie was a disappointment for me. He probably deserved it for countless other roles he played. His role in “The Big Lebowski” was really too small for any serious awards buzz.
But sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. I’m not just mourning the late Philip Seymour Hoffman this evening. I’m mourning Brandt, too.