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Philip Seymour Hoffman Talks Life, Death and Happiness in Poignant Animated Short

Philip Seymour Hoffman died on February 2, 2014, but little more than a year earlier, the Oscar-winning actor was giving an introspective (and eerily premonitory) interview about the meaning of happiness with philosopher Simon Critchley at the Rubin Museum of Art.

“Pleasure’s not happiness. I kill pleasure — I take too much of it and then therefore make it unpleasurable,” Hoffman mused in the previously unaired interview, which has been turned into an animated short by David Gerlach and Patrick Smith. “There is no pleasure that I haven’t actually made myself sick on.”

Smith animated the conversation for PBS Digital Studios’ “Blank on Blank” series. In it, the performer discussed what happiness meant to him, how he really only found it with his three children, and how he struggled to keep the past from creeping back in to the present.

“Meditation is actually coming right up to the lip of death and saying ‘I’m here, I’m scared.’ That’s life,” Hoffman observed. “If you can actually live in that place … learning how to die is therefore learning how to live.”

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