Philip Seymour Hoffman Gets Schooled by Jeremy Sisto

Philip Seymour HoffmanPhilip Seymour Hoffman’s acting ability does not
necessarily extend to charades.Photo: Getty Images

He may have an Oscar, but Philip Seymour Hoffman wasn’t feeling too sure of his acting ability at the LAByrinth Theater Company’s annual Celebrity Charades event last night. “I don’t know,” he said early on. “We won last year, but we lost the year before last. And we’re missing Justin Theroux tonight. He’s a very important fellow.” Hoffman had reason to worry. His team — Billy Crudup, John Ortiz, Andre Royo, Yul Vasquez, and Craig “muMs” Grant — was weak, and the other teams knew it. “Phil’s team is off,” Jeremy Sisto whispered after they failed to recognize Cabaret. “They’re not focused. They’re not as competitive.” Sisto, on the other hand, was prepared.

After a devastating loss in last year’s match, he had stocked up on heavy-hitters like Erika Christensen, who had flown in from L.A., and Law & Order’s Christopher Meloni. A civilian charades shark, LAB board chair Jeffrey A. Horwitz, even paid $5,000 to get in the game, and he proved pivotal in helping Sisto regain his dignity. “Victory is like the sweetest nectar, like the finest wine,” said Meloni, after their team won. “Just to know that Philip Seymour Hoffman is under my boot … it’s fantastic.” All agreed that strategy had helped the team — early on, they had decided to employ the “pass” quickly and often, in order to avoid running down the clock on a clue they’d never get. Also, Sisto had wisely decided to cut back on his pre-charades partying. “I was drunk last year, yes,” he said. “I wasn’t quite as good. I think my TV show [Kidnapped] had just gotten canceled. I was in mourning. No. Maybe I was just boozing.” —Jada Yuan