Philip Seymour Hoffman: Behind TIME’s Photo of the Powerful Actor

Paola Kudacki for TIME
Paola Kudacki for TIME
The photo that ran in the 2013 Great Performances portfolio.

We at TIME LightBox were very saddened to hear of the Feb. 2, 2014 death of actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman is probably best known for winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 2005 film Capote, and for obtaining three nominations for Best Supporting Actor throughout this career. He was also a three time Tony Award nominee, and played Willy Loman in the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman in 2012.

In 2013, TIME asked photographer Paola Kudacki to take this striking portrait of Philip Seymour Hoffman as part of our Great Performances portfolio. Hoffman had just been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Lancaster Dodd in The Master.

Kudacki remembers being excited to photograph Hoffman, whom she was with in studio for mere minutes: “He was one of the most talented actors, and every time he was in a movie I had to see it,” she says. “But we didn’t have much time at the shoot, so I was talking to him to keep him engaged.”

“His professionalism was immediately apparent,” adds TIME Senior Photo Editor Natalie Matutschovsky, who oversaw the shoot. “He gave off an energy that lent a particular intensity to Paola’s portrait.”

As part of the Great Performances portfolio that year, Hoffman spoke to TIME about his role, saying that his character in The Master made loose reference to Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. “There are things he does that are referenced in L. Ron Hubbard’s life,” he added, “but ultimately there is no adherence to any fact. We took liberties because he is a fictional character.”


Paola Kudacki is a photographer based in New York. She previously photographed Kathryn Bigelow for the cover of TIME.

Natalie Matutschovsky is a Senior Photo Editor for TIME. 


Related Topics: , , ,

Latest Posts

2014.  Gaza.  Palestine.  Schoolchildren head to class at the Sobhi Abu Karsh School in the Shujai'iya neighborhood. Operation Protective Edge lasted from 8 July 2014 – 26 August 2014, killing 2,189 Palestinians of which 1,486 are believed to be civilians. 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed.  It's estimated that 4,564 rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militants.

Inside Gaza with Photographer Peter van Agtmael

What photographer Peter van Agtmael encountered in Gaza changed the way he worked.

Read More
WASTELAND PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated December 2014 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sublicensing, sale or resale is prohibited.     REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as shown in this metadata, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.        Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 5 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image2. Show the December cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image3. Provide a prominent link to: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/12/superfund/voosen-textat the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the December issue of National Geographic magazine” GOWANUS CANALNew York, New YorkPollutants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, lead, copperYear listed: 2010Carved from a tidal estuary 160 years ago, the Gowanus Canal is Brooklyn’s industrial artery—and a deeply polluted waterway. Even so, it’s frequented by herons, seagulls, crabs, and canoeists. Defying local fears of economic stigma, the EPA listed the canal as a Superfund site in 2010. It hopes to start dredging contaminated mud in 2016.

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 24, 2014

Mideast Israel Palestinians

The Best Pictures of the Week: Nov. 14 – Nov. 21

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,275 other followers