Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bob Hoskins

(Bob Hoskins : October 26, 1942 – April 29, 2014)

In many ways the passing of actors feels like the passing of friends, and be that a byproduct of media voyeurism or the nature of familiarity, the pangs of loss resonate in their wake. To call it grief would be an insult to those who knew the man behind the curtain, the genuinely bereaved, but the feeling of mourning can and will heavily hang in the hearts of many who did not, myself included. It is the nature of cinema that we hold characters and indeed actors too, close to our hearts, and while much can be attributed to writing, the face behind it, the voice and manner remain like a companion, guiding you onward. Few actors can promise to leave such a mark, and for most while their merits can be listed and their praises sung, their lamentation of loss remains academic and without the feelings or heart behind it. Bob Hoskins was not one of those actors, and any words that can be said of the man will be filled, I assure you with deepest sorrow.

Gruff often to the point of intimidation, Hoskins had the rare and masterful ability to humanize in sheer expression and tone. With an intimidating natural stance and gravelly voice, portraying care and warmth would seem to most a natural juxtaposition, but it seemed natural when applied to the man. From the bumbling but good hearted Smee from Hook to the charming Lou from Mermaids, there was a natural charisma to Hoskins that remained unique but ever warm. Perhaps an inner air of confidence coupled with the depth of his expression. I would of course be remiss if I didn't mention his performance as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Tough but seasoned with personal loss, his portrayal was impressive in it's own right, made more so by the ground breaking techniques and his ability to respond to them.

I know little of the man on a personal level, and the things I do have been garnered through interviews. A man of strong ideals and good will, that same warmth came easily to see, and reportedly was much a part of his character. I would like to believe so. What I do know is that the world is a sadder and colder place in his absence. I invite you all to take an hour or two to look over or discover for the first time, that warmth and kind candor that I for one will sorely miss from here onward.

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