The actors honor the late star at the Santa Barbara Film Festival

By Andrea Billups
Updated February 05, 2014 07:00 PM
Matt Carr/Getty

Two days after being found dead of an apparent heroin overdose, Philip Seymour Hoffman was remembered by his fellow actors with great admiration Tuesday during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California.

Jared Leto described Hoffman as “a brave and fearless genius” after accepting one of the festival’s Virtuoso Awards, which he dedicated to Hoffman.

“Someone who was a compass for us all, and someone who will really be missed,” Leto said when answering questions about his Academy-Award-nominated role in Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Nebraska Oscar nominee June Squibb fondly remembered working with Hoffman on 1992’s Scent of a Woman, one of the late actor’s first big film roles.

“He was very young, both he and Chris O’Donnell, and we stayed at the same motel. We were in upstate New York shooting at a school up there, and he was just very sweet,” she said. “And it’s so hard to know, with what he must have had so many demons before all this happened.”

She said Hoffman and O’Donnell always tried to make her laugh, twisting her character’s name of Hunsacker in “every way you could possibly say.”

“I’ve seen most of [Hoffman’s] work in film. And I saw him do True West in New York on stage. And I’m devastated by it. I mean the loss of him, a man, but also, the loss to all of us … of what he would have done,” she said.

Reporting by SCOTT HUVER