Big Lebowski Philip Seymour Hoffman

No Small Roles

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s 10 Best Supporting Roles

Catch Boogie Nights this month on IFC.

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It’s a testament to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s talents as an actor that you don’t automatically associate him with a few career defining starring roles, even though he had them in The Master and Capote. No matter how much screen time his characters had in a film, and whether he was playing a lonely everyman or a cocky rich kid, Hoffman always brought them to life in a way that was captivating. In honor of the late, great, actor, here are Philip Seymour Hoffman’s most memorable supporting roles. And be sure to catch him in Boogie Nights this month on IFC.

10. The Ides of March, Paul Zara

In this Ryan Gosling/George Clooney political thriller, it’s Hoffman who brings the necessary gravitas as the grizzled campaign veteran providing a lesson in loyalty. Watching a Philip Seymour Hoffman character tell a story is like hearing Itzhak Perlman playing the violin. Few actors could bring truth to a scene without ever having to raise their voice.


9. Punch Drunk Love, Dean Trumbell

20002’s Punch Drunk Love is mostly remembered as being the one film that was able to bring out a strong performance in a dramatic role from Adam Sandler. But the reveal of Philip Seymour Hoffman as the sleazy Dean Trumbell, who manages the phone sex line that was trying to extort money from Sandler’s lonely protagonist Barry Egan, was a treat for the audience. Hoffman’s blow-dried hairstyle helps create the look of a sleazebag and his character hilariously spars with Egan’s rage-filled lonely man with love on his side.


8. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Freddie Miles

In The Talented Mr. Ripley, Hoffman used his talents to portray a privileged playboy with a cocky attitude and a flamboyance that wouldn’t be out of place in The Great Gatsby. The scene in which he sees through Ripley’s charade is brilliantly played by Hoffman as he enjoys getting a rise out of the young interloper. A rare straight man role for Hoffman that demonstrated he could play both blue bloods and oddballs with equal flair.


7. Magnolia, Phil Parma

In a cast filled with veteran character actors and movie stars, Hoffman shows once again he is both, delivering a subtle but powerful performance as one of the film’s few truly goodhearted characters. Here he plays Phil Parma, a nurse providing care to the ailing Earl Patridge, played by the legendary Jason Robards in his final role. Phil’s story revolves around him doggedly trying to track down Earl’s son Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise) and fulfill his dying wish.


6. Hard Eight, Young Craps Player

Hard Eight was Paul Thomas Anderson’s directorial debut, and kicked off a long-running partnership with Hoffman. In this dark drama about the seedy side of the gambler’s life in Vegas, Hoffman plays a cocky young craps player with a mullet to match his attitude. He brings a Travolta-like flair to his brief back-and-forth with the stoic Philip Baker Hall. Watch the scene and witness a classic acting tennis match.


5. The Big Lebowski, Brandt

Great actors love to work with great directors and Philip Seymour Hoffman fit perfectly into the Coen Brothers’ hilariously quirky world. Hoffman’s uncomfortable facial expressions alone are hilarious in his brief scenes as Brandt, the titular Big Lebowski’s perpetually uptight assistant. His nervous laugh is a quirky finishing touch to the character.


4. Along Came Polly, Sandy Lyle

Along Came Polly is one of the rare underrated Ben Stiller romcoms of the 2000s, with some legitimate funny moments and great performances by Alec Baldwin, Hank Azaria and Philip Seymour Hoffman in small roles. Hoffman is hilarious as a washed-up former teen actor who had a brief bit of fame in a 1980s “Brat Pack”-type movie called Crocodile Tears. You might want to clear your throat before watching Hoffman as Sandy Lyle deliver one of the funniest speeches you’ll ever see in a comedy.


3. Charlie Wilson’s War, Gust Avrakotos

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Gust Avrakotos is a cantankerous, rough-around-the-edges CIA operative who lives in the background of foreign affairs. He teams up with Tom Hank’s charming Texas schmoozer of a Congressman in a clandestine operation to provide Afghani rebels arms in their war against the Soviets. Hoffman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and his brash, slovenly spy elevates every scene with Hanks’ Charlie Wilson. Hoffman relishes the little nuances of his character, like the way a cigarette dangles from his mouth as he holds a cup of coffee.


2. Almost Famous, Lester Bangs

What was so great about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance as rock journalist Lester Bangs? “In a word…everything.” Bangs wasn’t just talking to naïve young journalist William Miller when he reminds him that it’s okay to be uncool; he’s talking to anyone who has ever been a teenager. Hoffman’s Lester Bangs provides the gruff and comforting voice of reason to the wide-eyed William, helping him to realize that the rock-and-roll lifestyle isn’t all fame, fortune and groupies.


1. Boogie Nights, Scotty

It’s hard to stick out in a film overflowing with iconic performances, but Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Scotty lingers in your memory long after the disco ball has come down. Scotty, in his too-tight tank tops, doesn’t quite look right next to the attractive porn actors but he fits in perfectly with this group of misfits. In a movie where Mark Wahlberg wears a prosthetic dong, Scotty strikes a surprising chord of loneliness and unrequited love that anyone can relate to. Watching the film now is a reminder of great things to come for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and of how much his talents are missed by movie fans.

SAE SDCC 2017

SDCC OMG

Stan Diego Comic-Con

Stan Against Evil returns November 1st.

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Photo Credit: Erin Resnick, GIFs via Giphy

Another Comic-Con International is in the can, and multiple nerdgasms were had by all – not least of which were about the Stan Against Evil roundtable discussion. Dana, Janet and John dropped a whole lotta information on what’s to come in Season 2 and what it’s like to get covered in buckets of demon goo. Here are the highlights.

Premiere Date!

Season 2 hits the air November 1 and picks up right where things left off. Consider this your chance to seamlessly continue your Halloween binge.

Character Deets!

Most people know that Evie was written especially for Janet, but did you know that Stan is based on Dana Gould’s dad? It’s true. But that’s where the homage ends, because McGinley was taken off the leash to really build a unique character.

Happy Accidents!

Improv is apparently everything, because according to Gould the funniest material happens on the fly. We bet the writers are totally cool with it.

Exposed Roots!

If Stan fans are also into Twin Peaks and Doctor Who, that’s no accident. Both of those cult classic genre benders were front of mind when Stan was being developed.

Trailer Treasure!

Yep. A new trailer dropped. Feast your eyes.

Catch up on Stan Against Evil’s first season on the IFC app before it returns November 1st on IFC.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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