I did three sittings with Philip Seymour Hoffman but it’s the time that I had a random lunch with him three years after working together that I find myself thinking about.
Running errands on a spring Saturday I popped into a hot dog joint on Lafayette, just south of Bleecker. A minute after I placed my order at the corner Philip came in. The place was almost empty, so I went up and said hello. He recognized me right away and was friendly, if low-key.
We sat down and ate. He had a cheeseburger and I had two hot dogs wrapped in bacon with hot sauce.
During our conversation I congratulated him on his Best Actor Oscar for “Capote”, which he had received only days before. I told him that he can’t now go off and do stupid big-budget action movies (a common misstep by past winners). He chewed his sandwich for a couple of seconds and then told me that his next picture was “Mission Impossible III”.
He was fun to photograph, and he brought real joy to his performances. He’ll be missed.