The Hobbit actor took to his Facebook page to share his memories of Hoffman; the post featured a photo of Hoffman with Natalie Portman from the film The Seagull in 2001.
The actor wrote: “He was without doubt one of the most accomplished screen actors of our time, with so many more performances waiting to enchant us with.”
McKellen went on to praise his role in The Seagull, saying: “The open-air venue was not conductive 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.”
He added: “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.”
The actor posted his tribute the same day that the news broke of Hoffman’s death.
Hoffman was found dead at age 46 in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday, after a suspected drug overdose.
Read the rest of McKellen’s tribute here.
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