I took this picture of Philip Seymour Hoffman in early 2003 while on assignment for The Washington Post. It was, by any measure, a complete failure of an assignment on my part. For one, I probably should have lit it, if only to formalize the situation a bit more. Secondly, I think he was only expecting to be interviewed for the story, not photographed. At any rate, I did coax him out of that nondescript midtown hotel conference room where the interview was taking place (see above photo) out into a long hallway that at least had floor-to-ceiling windows. I asked him to do a simple pose and began shooting my one roll of color negative film. Within a minute or so I began to sense he felt ridiculous because of the poses I was asking him to hold: arms crossed, arms crossed w/ index finger+thumb “steadying” his chin, hands in pockets, etc. I distinctly remember at one point I asked him to kind of rest his chin and cheek into his palm and he responded by deadpanning a slap to his face, with his hand covering half his face, as if to point out how absurd my ideas were. I relented, and we mutually called it a wrap. At the moment, it was hard for me not to think of him as a prick. But I always respected him for sort of calling me out in that way, for holding his ground and not-so-subtly hinting that I needed to think outside the box. Back in the conference room after the interview, I gave him one of my business cards, a postcard of a woman holding a newspaper in Astor Place. In a somewhat brighter mood (or perhaps just wanting me to know he had been busting my chops earlier) he commented that he really liked it and that he knew exactly where it was taken.