Happy Talk: Simon Critchley + Philip Seymour Hoffman

  • Published on Feb 4, 2014
  • In Memoriam: Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Just over a year ago philosopher Simon Critchley met with Philip Seymour Hoffman for the final in a series of on-stage conversations called Happy Talk. In a searching dialogue that in hindsight seems prescient, the actor wrestles with the concepts of happiness, love, and death with the same courage and compelling insight that he brought to his roles. Recorded at the Rubin Museum of Art on December 17, 2012
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    About the Rubin:
    The Rubin Museum of Art is a dynamic environment that stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art of Himalayan regions.

Comments • 256

  • IEl tr
    IEl tr 3 months ago +2

    I think the first ingredient to take out of someone"s life to help them 'just be', is fame, the worry for the approval of others. On the other hand, the ancient glory was a confirmation that you lived a meaningful life. We re going to miss Hoffman. His imense generosity.

  • FOXAMG63
    FOXAMG63 4 months ago

    PSH was a kind and generous soul. Brilliant and generational talent.

  • Night Owl
    Night Owl 4 months ago

    These guys are on a quest for fools. It's like asking Chaplin, give me a definition of comedy. You can't! The bald headed guy is trying too hard to go after happiness, lasso it and put lightning in a bottle. It's an exercise in futility.

  • -EWSLS31 -
    -EWSLS31 - 6 months ago

    You feel happy when you fulfill your instincts (gradually from basic to advance as in Maslow’s pyramid) or find a way to fulfill them better than the people you compare yourself to (whoever is around you) .. In other words, happiness is self confidence and that comes from the ability to guarantee immortality for yourself by marriage, having better children than yourself and better grandchildren than your children .. and that cannot be achieved unless you succeed in society, the higher you go in the social ladder the happier you will be and the more stable your life will become. The purpose of life is not that mysterious. Holy books are good guidance to live the best human life possible, especially islam (although some of Mohammed’s teachings had been misused due to lack of deep understanding).

  • Jude Wilding
    Jude Wilding 6 months ago

    I'm so gutted I discovered Mr Hoffman after his death, he's just unreal, I admire his hard work more than anything.

  • Bradley
    Bradley 6 months ago

    we need a ordinary person to give this interview. This guy makes it so weird from the beginning that Hoffman doesn't want to have a conversation

  • helen pruzan
    helen pruzan 7 months ago +1

    That was ...so good!!!

  • Debbie Powers
    Debbie Powers 8 months ago

    Very astute observation Phillip. I kill pleasure by taking too much of it. It’s what killed him. What a loss for us.

  • Meserbee Chek
    Meserbee Chek 9 months ago

    Happiness is the point of life? Purposely choosing not to be is simply organizing a system. Go to the lowest and you will know what I mean. We are supposed to find that again?

  • Noa Baak
    Noa Baak 9 months ago

    Here’s a person talking of happiness about one year before his own death. He was found dead with a needle in his arms and left w/ 35M dollars. The very fact reflects what happiness should be. It’s not what states but demands of you. - NYC, 2/25/2021

  • David Lurvey
    David Lurvey 9 months ago

    41:50 "We live in a culture that denies death and flees death and is therefore constantly shocked by it because we keep it at the edges all the time. We don’t have the rituals. We don’t know what to do. We're confused by death and death is somehow obscene. We need to shove it somewhere else."

  • Aaron Smyth
    Aaron Smyth 9 months ago

    33:25 Simon Critchley mentions a film here, does anyone know the name of it, because I couldn't understand him? Thanks.

  • cahillgreg
    cahillgreg 10 months ago

    7th anniversary of his passing - RIP

  • MrsP
    MrsP 10 months ago

    I wish I had known him.

  • E Clay
    E Clay 10 months ago

    He was the best actor I have ever seen, ever! Aside from that I feel for him and his family. Unfortunately I know exactly how he was feeling and it is rough, real rough.

  • tinman652
    tinman652 11 months ago +4

    Oh damn, he was really thoughtful and intelligent.

  • KAL
    KAL 11 months ago

    "Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don't throw away the best of yourself.”-Friedrich Nietzsche.
    There is something about this interview that reminds me that those dark parts of ourselves we try to hide, are the parts that need the most acceptance and when exposed are also the most healing to other people.

  • nillehessy
    nillehessy 11 months ago

    i don´t think these guys know man being happy being happy is fuckin´sporadic few times a year tops
    believe me allmost only things i do is indulge myself and take it easy days become weeks weeks become years
    i feel pretty content year-round mayby 2 a 3 times a few days happy a year and i´m in my 50s it´s been like that
    all my life i tell you what i don´t even wanna be really fuckin´happy all the time i don´t even like those people
    fuckin´happy happy-de-peppy why do they even bother that´s not the point

  • Safina Maulida
    Safina Maulida 11 months ago

    oh no, I just knew he's dead.

  • James West
    James West 11 months ago +1

    Seymour did not really understand happiness. He was really pursuing what he thought might be happiness. Pleasure, getting high, power, fame...it all may or may not give us that nebulous concept of fulfillment. It is not the same for everyone. So many people never get there because there is always something better.

  • Lawrence Finch-Hatton
    Lawrence Finch-Hatton 11 months ago

    Ignorance is bliss.

  • Brandon K MMA
    Brandon K MMA Year ago

    "Was I happy or was I just unaware?"

  • Akash Singhal
    Akash Singhal Year ago

    Dumbfuck Western Intellectualism!

  • Space Cowboy
    Space Cowboy Year ago +5

    Amazing person...greatly missed

  • Katherine Kass
    Katherine Kass Year ago

    May 13, 2020......Freedom of Speech..... And we got another LIVE one in Colorado named Jared Polis..... Seems to me "Jared" IS NOT being totally honest with Colorado!

  • Daniel Ross
    Daniel Ross Year ago +1

    Happiness doesn't require "the other"
    Being there, I can be happy as a fuck sitting on a bench in the sun without anyone there

  • Aaron Cook
    Aaron Cook Year ago +1

    I laughed, I cried..no joke!
    1:26 💖💯💗
    👇 👇💙

  • Nicole O
    Nicole O Year ago


    VWGTI Year ago +2

    He was hilarious in Along Came Polly.

  • greenbeagle13
    greenbeagle13 2 years ago +8

    Great video. PSH is such a "common man"..., and the BEST actor ever - as in E-V-E-R..., hate that he is gone.

  • Hugh-John Fleming
    Hugh-John Fleming 2 years ago +1

    This amazing mass of talent so lost in himself, myopic and selfish, that his gift to all of us can't make him happy.

  • Alexander Verney-Elliott
    Alexander Verney-Elliott 2 years ago +4

    If we watch the exchanges between Hoffman and Critchley we immediately sensation that Hoffman is a natural philosopher whilst Critchley comes across as a natural actor and acts at philosophising without actually philosophising at all and Hoffman has an overwhelming abundance of dasein whilst Critchley has an underwhelming poverty of dasein that is no dasein at all since Critchley is vacuous as an absolute-absence-not-being-there whilst Hoffman is vivacious as a potent-presence-being-there . When we all watch this video we uncannily and unwittingly realise that it is actually Hoffman who is the real philosopher and Critchley who is the real actor as Critchley comes across as acting all the time whilst Hoffman comes across as philosophising all the time .

  • Lisa Surlie
    Lisa Surlie 2 years ago

    Hey worms enjoy 😊

  • Charles Sykes
    Charles Sykes 2 years ago +4

    movies are empty without him. He was such a brilliant actor that he left a void in the film industry
    that cannot be filled,

  • Nancy Beveridge Taylor
    Nancy Beveridge Taylor 2 years ago +2

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman was so mentally ill , so addicted, so tortured. I get him, as an intersexed person person who has struggled with all of this all my life! I struggled with sexual abuse, and then bulimia and depression and other food issues related to my sexual abuse, until my adult life. And then my intersexulity came out at 15 years old! And then no help until I got help my self at 19 years old! My intersexulity was never diagnosed until I was 19, when I had researched my own issues!!

  • Nancy Beveridge Taylor
    Nancy Beveridge Taylor 2 years ago +3

    When you leave religious chains, and go on, sometimes you never get free. As a psychiatric nurse, who has struggled with addiction myself, after I retired I got help!

  • Nancy Beveridge Taylor
    Nancy Beveridge Taylor 2 years ago +1

    When you are struggling with addiction and wrangling from a life time of religious monstrosities, it may never leave you.

  • Chuck Taylor
    Chuck Taylor 2 years ago +1

    Old Man on

    Happiness comes as you climb a hill

    The sun is setting, white azaleas blazing

    In the rain; happiness whisks around
    like a

    Bee buzzing your nose, as a lizard,

    Stripped, slips in and out of
    cracks in a cliff’s

    Limestone; happiness in action:

    Pies outside
    from sand in Corallina’s

    Comfy play kitchen, then finding in

    Garage a stray tabby cat; happiness,

    Standing in
    line behind a farmer in

    The Dollar Store, he’s sold his
    farm and is

    About to heave with his love for

    happiness, finding in a

    Used bookstore a picture book, that

    Years ago, a pen friend sent from

    getting a shovel, lifting

    Out an exhausted toad trapped in
    your child’s

    Plastic summer wading pool, and
    then you

    Remember - you don’t know why -
    your first kiss,

    In a slow rain, under an umbrella,

    In front of a
    an abandoned grocery

    Store you’d found a back way in to

    That kiss, it lingered long for two
    just twelve.

    Don’t hang yourself for happiness.
    It’s out

    There always, waiting on you to
    find it.

  • Chuck Taylor
    Chuck Taylor 2 years ago

    Happiness comes on you accidentally as you do worthwhile things. Happiness comes from activity.

  • Gee Kay
    Gee Kay 2 years ago

    maybe happy is the wrong word. what about content, balanced etc.

  • Daniel Ross
    Daniel Ross 2 years ago +4

    Hoffman is the real philosopher here

  • kinotarantino1
    kinotarantino1 2 years ago +2

    I miss this guy so much!

  • Brometheus
    Brometheus 2 years ago +44

    “There is no pleasure that I haven’t made myself sick on”

  • Diane Austin
    Diane Austin 2 years ago

    If he is supposed to be an interviewer,, I think he failed....let the guest speak!!!

    • Harry h
      Harry h Year ago

      He’s not. It’s a conversation. Read the description

  • FightingKami
    FightingKami 2 years ago +9

    "The task of an actor is to defend everyone you play." That whole segment was one of the most profound pieces of acting advice I've ever heard.

  • David Andersen
    David Andersen 2 years ago +1

    This is one view of happiness. I am of the opinion that happiness originates in a logical and well executed mind, of a life of thought in addition to one's life in a society, family, loved... The life of the mind should be as vivacious and energetic as the life of a person. We have, for example, art. We are the only species in earth that has art, poetry, and music. This distinguishes us from other animals. We have religion. Name another species that has that? We explain nature with mathematics and science, and build technology and redefine how we dream month to month with mathematics, science, and technology. We are the great living paradox of what we call Earth. I think what we do is as important way to frame the question. To otherwise do so is an act of hubris, which is the true faith of humanity. We assume we can plan outcome, when we can merely inherit it.
    This was a great talk, however.

    • Lisa Surlie
      Lisa Surlie 2 years ago

      David Andersen happiness is getting high on morphine breaking the time release

  • Mark Porter
    Mark Porter 2 years ago +1

    Best PSH interview I have seen.

  • Bob Johnson
    Bob Johnson 2 years ago

    I agree with one commenter below... the women in the audience and their fucking nervous laughter when things are serious puts me on edge. Do you think its a comedy routine with Hoffman and a philosopher? Please, go see some standup.

  • talitakoomi
    talitakoomi 3 years ago +2

    72,000 people died from overdoses last year. 12-step groups are ok, but they don't offer a clear way to break free from addiction once and for all. After 17 years in N.A. and multiple relapses, I finally found a way out thanks to an e book I found online: "A Metaphysical Approach to Addiction" by John Evans. As a former addict himself, he reveals concrete actions you can take to change your brain from the compulsions of addiction to a completely free mind, body and spirit. This book is very effective and worth every penny!! If you are struggling, or know someone else who is, I hope you'll check it out.

  • Luis Filipe Marques
    Luis Filipe Marques 3 years ago +1

    What is Hoffman doing in the company of such a" look at me-look at me"? Is brilliance not only obfuscate the other guy it completely obliterates the so called philosopher-dick.

  • Rippin Around Everywhere
    Rippin Around Everywhere 3 years ago +2

    A winner is a loser that never gave up...

  • Rippin Around Everywhere

    Just don't get it...all that success and dope kills him... definitely sucks...to experience life at the level he did must be something...

  • M U T S A
    M U T S A 3 years ago +1

    Philip ❤️

  • k wryguard
    k wryguard 3 years ago +4

    My husband said, "I don't get it. Why can't you wake up and just be happy." I replied. I don't know Bob, why can't you wake up and be intelligent."

  • Austin S.
    Austin S. 3 years ago

    When I get drunk, I watch things like this. Which is why I have no friends. Does that make me a modern day philosopher? (the last part is a joke.)

  • Chef Pie
    Chef Pie 3 years ago +2

    I met him once in a CVS and he turned around and caught me watching him looking for shampoo and then chose a shampoo(brown bottle called ‘Crew’ I think, it was $14.99). Then knowing I was still staring at him and shifting behind him so I could be there as he moved. He wanted a different brand of conditioner. He squatted down(grunting) and reached for the conditioner but I couldn’t see which brand he chose so he turned around and I thought he was going to hand it to me, and I mean REALLY hand it to me. Instead he laughed and said “clean my hair?” Like he was asking me. I shook a little, like I got the chills and finally he hands both bottles to a young lady I didn’t realize was standing to my left (I was between them). She was holding a pen and paper and he said to her: “DO NOT cross these off the list!” I finally said to her: “Don’t, please don’t .” (This never happened, I applied for a job at a CVS once, that’s what made me think about typing this. That isn’t true either)

  • Hugh-John Fleming
    Hugh-John Fleming 3 years ago

    Waiting for happy? It takes an effort. Thinking about it turns people into dead junkies.

  • videovedo
    videovedo 4 years ago +2

    I'm only 12 minutes into the conversation and it's already unsettling and painful to listen to some of the things said, in light of what happened. Part of the reason I "fell" for Hoffmann were some beautiful, deep, honest, clever interviews I read which showed a complex and fascinating mind (&soul). I cried like an incredulous baby over his death (and the death of David Bowie, for other reasons, which is kind of a coincidence for me now with Critchley also being a superfan) and felt we were being robbed of some incredible art to come. Of some incredible sensitivity, lived through, displayed, donated. Being extremely insightful, selfaware, intelligent (and able to be daringly creative) is no shield at all, ever.

  • Shaine Tertained
    Shaine Tertained 4 years ago

    What movie are they talking about?

  • Shanti Barbara Hasslacher

    not sure I really follow what they're talking about! anyone else feel that?

    • onein inone
      onein inone 2 years ago

      Yeah, they are trying to fillin where the other leaves off...seems to me. Love...? Werds werds werds. Happy...?? Werds werds werds.

  • Luna L
    Luna L 4 years ago +6

    "by identifying the point in the past were we were deformed, we can become perfect again" exactly :)

  • Denise Spurlock
    Denise Spurlock 4 years ago +6

    It hurt me so bad when Philip passed away. Top quality performance in all he did. RIP, Philip!

  • Leuthaneous
    Leuthaneous 4 years ago +15

    How annoying that must have been for Hoffman to express something profound and painful as killing all pleasures and listen to the chorus of child like thinkers laugh. Why is that funny, because it was evoked by Hoffman? A truly wise and profound thought wasted on people who don't have the maturity to contemplate it with him. I know that sounds very judgmental but I'm so tired of this mentality, that everything is a joke. What stuck me was the oversight that we tend to ignore the small things as we get older. We can't get under a table and pretend it's a submarine anymore, like we lose something as we gain knowledge. Such an elusive thing, that we need more than there is to obtain wonder in this life. Of course I think there is more than what's in this life but still, from a purely existential perspective, it is quite a perplexing mystery.

    • Harry h
      Harry h Year ago

      I think they were laughing in recognition

    • Truman Capote
      Truman Capote 2 years ago +1

      AMERICA has become a fucking JOKE!!

    • Zac Huang
      Zac Huang 2 years ago

      get your head out of your arse steve

    • Gabriel Smith
      Gabriel Smith 3 years ago +2

      it was funny dude, things can be funny and wise. He even delivered it to be funny and relatable.

  • OpinionDay007
    OpinionDay007 4 years ago +6

    very interesting.... until simon starts to talk

    • Mark Porter
      Mark Porter 2 years ago

      I think the main reason this interview works is because PSH is engaged on an intellectual level and not having to answer the usual glib and facile questions that he and his peers are ordinarily forced to answer.

  • T. Zappa
    T. Zappa 4 years ago +42

    I really miss him. he was a very gifted actor and seemed like a very genuinely nice person

    • Ivan Renard
      Ivan Renard 5 months ago

      True man, I miss him a lot too. Such an angel and terrific actor he was.

    • Lisa Surlie
      Lisa Surlie 2 years ago

      Nautilus1972 hey man nice shot is a song for him! Why is his death glamorized

    • Nautilus1972
      Nautilus1972 2 years ago +1

      But you didn't know him - his movies, which are all you knew of him are still here. There's nothing for you to miss.

  • Zach Luther
    Zach Luther 4 years ago +2

    Shouldn't a philosopher be able to express a simple fucking idea

  • April Wolff
    April Wolff 4 years ago


  • Kira Knudsen
    Kira Knudsen 5 years ago +14

    There is so much love when he talks about his kids.

  • Arashocky
    Arashocky 5 years ago +3

    It is so strange to see Simon talking about death with Philip...

  • awaken dabeast
    awaken dabeast 5 years ago +2

    A tragic loss to the art of acting at 9:16 simon brings up magnolia scene you might be through with the past but the past is not through with you, a greek tragedy. He had it all and thought maybe he could just dibble from his younger days and unfortunately took everything and robbed us from future works of art