Philip Seymour Hoffman in Flatiron District for “Trending Down” Pilot in September 2013
You probably already heard the tragic news that Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. Hoffman had a large body of work, appearing in such films as Almost Famous, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights and Capote, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005. He was also an accomplished theater actor; his portrayal of Willy Loman in a 2012 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman drew enormous praise from critics.
In remembrance of one of the greatest actors of his generation, here is a brief account and some photos of his appearance in the Flatiron District on September 6th to film the pilot of Showtime series, Trending Down. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.
Note: This is a re-posting of an article written before the actor’s death, hence the less-than-somber tone. It is not a eulogy, but rather an honest reaction to his appearance in our neighborhood and some information on the show he was filming. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to see a legend at work, however briefly.
Article published September 9th, 2013
When you see a giant poster of a naked male torso plastered on the side of a building, surrounded by a throng of cameramen, extras and TV executives telling you to buzz off, you know you’ve stumbled upon the set of, well, something. If this happened to you today while you were walking along 23rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, that something was the pilot for Trending Down, an upcoming series set to air on Showtime.
Trending Down will star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Thom Payne, an advertising executive forced to reconsider his place in the world when his agency gets bought out. Other cast members include Kathryn Hahn, who plays Thom’s wife Lee, and Rhys Ifans will portray his boss, Jonathan. Thematically, Trending Down will explore our “youth-obsessed culture.” Let’s hope it fares better than Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last TV series, Luck, which ran for only one season on HBO before being cancelled. With a title that sounds like Breaking Bad and a premise reminiscent of Mad Men, perhaps it stands a solid chance.
Unfortunately, we only caught a glimpse of Hoffman’s performance before we were “escorted” off the set. But as usual, he seemed completely immersed in his role and his performance. Hoffman is never just playing a character. He is the character. We look forward to seeing the show when it debuts.