"I think that the amount of concentration, sometimes the amount of personal exploration, it takes to do something well, can be not pleasant, you know, like hard work is. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to do it or that you don’t love it or that it’s not ultimately satisfying. You know that old cliché; you know, nothing’s worth it unless it’s hard to do kind of thing. I wear that on my sleeve sometimes when I’m working… There’s always something about that job that’s exhausting, and that’s what’s exhausting about acting, is the level concentration over very long period of time.
And if you’re carrying that around and the emotional life of that around over a period of time, it can be burdensome. But it’s part of the work, and you’re trying to create something artful out of it. And so, it’s not therapy. So, you’re not there to be in therapy; you’re there to take, you know, what you know and the experiences and behavior and emotional life of yourself and others and try to make something artful out of it. But the carrying of that around and the focusing of that can be, it can be tough.”
-Philip Seymour Hoffman speaking to Terry Gross in 2008 about what he finds difficult about acting
In memory of Mr. Hoffman we put together a show with both of his interviews—one from 1999 and the other from 2008, in addition to a clip from our interview with director Paul Thomas Anderson. .
photo via the L.A. Times