Philip Seymour Hoffman
Credit: Philip Seymoure Hoffman: Dana Lixenberg/CORBIS OUTLINE

It’s time that Philip Seymour Hoffman became a star

WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM Almost Famous (2000), where he played rock critic and mentor Lester Bangs

WHERE ELSE? He was Ben Stiller’s slobby best friend in Along Came Polly and lovelorn porn film crew member Scotty J. in Boogie Nights (1997).

MUST-SEE ROLE State and Main (2000), the David Mamet farce in which he stars as a screenwriter whose moral compass is tested during a small-town film shoot

WHY HE SHOULD BE A STAR Hoffman is astonishingly versatile and chameleonic; in 1999, he was in theaters simultaneously as a compassionate nurse (Magnolia), a drag queen/music tutor (Flawless), and a preppy snob (The Talented Mr. Ripley).

NEXT Hoffman is already earning Oscar buzz for his uncanny incarnation of author Truman Capote in Capote (in theaters). Then he goes into thriller mode with Tom Cruise in next summer’s Mission: Impossible 3.