On Facebook, McKellen shared a photo of Natalie Portman and Philip Seymour Hoffman from 2001’s The Seagull. Here’s what McKellen had to say about Hoffman’s passing.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
He was without doubt one of the most accomplished screen actors of our time, with so many more performances waiting to enchant us with.
What I will remember most is his Konstantin in Chekov's "The Seagull" in a starry revival in New York's Central Park (2001). Meryl Streep was his mother, although he looked old enough to be her younger brother, a self-obsessed lonely boy, longing for success, trying to make his own way in an alien world. The open-air venue was not conducive to the delicacy and intimacy of the play, yet Hoffman amazingly shrank the space between him and the audience and made us feel we were spying on his insides.
His work on film survives his death, the only consolation in our grief and regret. Last month he came to see our plays at the Cort Theatre. I wish, now more than ever, we had met afterwards, so I could have told him of my admiration.