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Sam Rockwell praises his ‘old buddy’ Philip Seymour Hoffman

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LOS ANGELES – After just picking up an Oscar, supporting-actor winner Sam Rockwell seemed most excited that TV viewers could hear his shout-out to “my old buddy, Phil Hoffman” (aka the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) at the end of his speech.

“Oh, you caught that? Good, good, because I thought the music was going,” said Rockwell, who played police deputy Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Asked to elaborate on Hoffman, who won an Oscar for Capote and died in 2014 at age 46, Rockwell started by saying, “Well, you want to start making me cry?”

But he pushed on. “He was an old friend of mine. He directed me in a play at the Public Theater. He was very close to me and an inspiration to all my peers, people like Jeffrey Wright, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin. (For) whoever was in my age range, Phil Hoffman was the guy. He was a great director and he believed in doing theater.”

Rockwell said Hoffman had vowed to direct a play a year, “which I don’t know now if he got to do because he was so busy doing movies.” He added that he “was a bit of a jock, a wrestler and he played basketball. I could go on for an hour about Phil Hoffman,” Rockwell continued, before closing: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a good friend and a huge inspiration (for) me.”

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