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ubersiren's avatar

Why is Philip Seymour Hoffman so creepy?

Asked by ubersiren (15152points) October 31st, 2009

In any role, he gives me the heeby jeebies. Is it his voice? His appearance? Do you agree?

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32 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I think he is a phenomenal actor, and if he gives us the creeps it is because he intends to do so.

holden's avatar

I quite liked him in Charlie Wilson’s War. I think he’s rather cute, actually.

Grisaille's avatar

I love Philip Seymour Hoffman.

As a related aside, everyone should watch Synecdoche, New York immediately.

Cartman's avatar

He always seems clammy and a bit spaced out but still phenomenally intelligent. He always appears to have been bullied all his life, until he came into a position of covert power.

ubersiren's avatar

@Grisaille : I did see that recently, actually. I now have a new word in my vocabulary- synechdoche.

Don’t get me wrong, I think he is a great actor.

Grisaille's avatar

all it gave me was a delightful existential coma

Darwin's avatar

When he is being himself, with facial hair, etc., he isn’t creepy at all. However, he plays creepy very well. Truman Capote was a creepy little git, and Hoffman recreated that beautifully. Many of his other roles also call for him to be equally creepy, clammy, intelligent, spacey or just plain weird. He does it so well that those of us who haven’t met him personally are convinced that he isn’t acting but just being himself in front of the camera (as so many current “actors” do).

rooeytoo's avatar

I just saw the movie where he was the priest and Merryl Streep the nun, I think it was called Doubt. He is a very good actor. And that was a good movie, did anyone see it, what did you think of the ending?

ubersiren's avatar

@rooeytoo : Haven’t seen it, but it’s on the Netflix list!

ratboy's avatar

He was great in Magnolia.

Adagio's avatar

@ratboy Ditto in Flawless with Robert De Niro

@pdworkin if he gives us the creeps it is because he intends to do so I couldn’t agree more, it is all too easy to confuse the character with the actor.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

he looks like a serial killer. =)

holden's avatar

@rooeytoo you are correct; the movie was Doubt. I thought the movie was amazing and the ending was very touching.

figbash's avatar

I love PSH and think he’s a phenomenal actor. I can see how he would put out a creepy uncle vibe, though.

@Grisaille: Synechdoche is about my hometown and as a CK/PSH fan I was dying to see it but at least a few people said to hold off since it was incredibly depressing. True?

Grisaille's avatar

I say go for it. It is a bit depressing, but so very rewarding, on multiple levels. Do it.

If anything, it made me appreciate the human condition just a bit more.

knitfroggy's avatar

He’s an amazing actor. The first time I recall seeing him was in Patch Adams. I loved him in Capote and Doubt. I really wasn’t able to understand Synecdoche, New York, but I started watching it because he was in it.

rooeytoo's avatar

@holden – I couldn’t make up my mind if he was a pedophile or not, what did you think?

nebule's avatar

he has a large forehead?...large foreheads indicate big brains, big brains indicate superhuman intelligence, which threatens all us normal people…perhaps hence why he looks like a serial killer??? :-/

IBERnineD's avatar

It is his hair for me. It’s unsettling when he plays the characters he does, with light blonde wispy hair. For me the hair color he has connotations of youth. When you mix the youth which is supposed to be innocent with his creepy characters it becomes extremely off-putting.
In real life though he looks like a very nice guy!

ubersiren's avatar

@lynneblundell : Interesting theory! I don’t know if that’s it or not, but he definitely gives me like a child molester feeling or something. Not that I really think he is.

Thammuz's avatar

I don’t find him creepy at all, i find him funny and i’d probably try to be his friend if i knew him in real life.

My mother used to have a similar reaction to a family friend of ours, she then realized, while undertaking a period of analysis, he looked like the protagonist from a hitchcock movie that scared her when she was little. It might be something similar…

nebule's avatar

I do also find him creepy…but in a strangely attractive way :-/ how bizarre!!

filmfann's avatar

big head, big forehead, big jaw.
He was okay in Red Dragon and great in The Big Lebowski.
Mission Impossible 3? Didn’t see it. Tom Cruise vs. the guy who played Truman Capote?
Too creepy!

Grisaille's avatar

He’s actually the best part of MI:3, @filmfann. But I’m sure you already knew that. :P

MagsRags's avatar

@ubersiren I’m wondering if you saw the 1998 movie Happiness at some point and it’s entered your subconscious? He did play a pedophile in that one. Part of what made it so unsettling is that his character had some sympathetic qualities.

zephyr826's avatar

I didn’t think he was creepy in Almost Famous or (I’m a little ashamed to admit) Along came Polly.

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t think he’s creepy at all. I think he’s one of our finest character actors. How many other actors take the kind of chances he does in his career?

hotgirl67's avatar

He seems like he is out of it sometimes and withdrawn.

zensky's avatar

Because he’s a really good actor.

filmfann's avatar

Art Howe is complaining about the way PSH portrayed him in Moneyball. Howe said it was character assassination. I thought it was spot on, but I don’t know Howe. I only know him through media interviews.

Pachy's avatar

He can be creepy, yes, but he play all kinds of types, too including gay (“Flawless”), biographical (Capote), hilarious (“Along Came Polly”) and just plain downright entertaining (“Hard Eight”). I love him. He was way underused in the fabulous “Moneyball.”

zensky's avatar

Because he’s a great actor.

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