Philip Seymour Hoffman provided a litany of these, having paid his dues over many years as a working actor — making even small roles seem impressive. That’s how we eventually came to know his name.
After his death yesterday, EW began looking back through some of these early performances — his debut as a wise-ass street kid on a 1991 episode of Law & Order, and his supporting role as the morally ambiguous best friend of Chris O’Donnell’s character in 1992′s Scent of a Woman.
Looking up that particular part, we spotted something surprising in one of his early scenes. In the game of finding a future film star in a background role, this scene from Scent of a Woman turned out to be a double.
Hoffman is not just sharing the screen with O’Donnell, as they try to distract an older teacher from witnessing a prank being set up over the headmaster’s parking space. Hoffman is also acting opposite a current Oscar-nominee: Nebraska‘s June Squibb.
We reached out to her via her son, filmmaker Harry Kakatsakis, to see if she had any memories of Hoffman to share.