Amy Adams Tearfully Salutes Philip Seymour Hoffman

Amy Adams 'Inside the Actors Studio'
Amy Adams 'Inside the Actors Studio'

One among several of this year's Academy Award contenders whose competitive or celebratory spirits have been tempered by the emotional toll of Philip Seymour Hoffman's sudden death earlier this month is current Best Actress nominee Amy Adams.

The "American Hustle" star – who had appeared opposite the late screen giant in three films and was also set to headline his second directorial effort – wore a very fragile heart on her sleeve during Wednesday's episode of "Inside the Actors Studio" as she discussed the loss of her former colleague and friend through broken sobs.

[Related: 5 Great Philip Seymour Hoffman Performances You Might’ve Missed]

"I just really loved him, and I know so many people did," she managed to declare before admitting, "I just don't know how much more I can talk about it right now, sorry."

Adams also expressed regret that the show's student audience would never get a chance to share her experience of having known him on a professional level. "I wish you all could have had the chance to work with him," she tearfully told the crowd.

Indeed, Adams shared the screen with Hoffman for some of his most celebrated movie moments – in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Doubt," and "The Master," all of which earned him Academy Award nominations and two of which Adams herself can credit for nods. The two enjoyed a well-known mutual respect for one another both on and off the stage, with Hoffman having recently credited her among "the most gifted people I know" in an October interview with Vanity Fair.

"The things I value about actors, there's talent," Adams said. "There's skill, but without work ethic, without that generosity of spirit to take people with you on that brilliant journey that you take... both Meryl [Streep] and Philip have this ability to create ... it's transformative," she said of her former "Doubt" castmates.

[Related: How Philip Seymour Hoffman Death Will Cast Big Shadow Over Oscar Night]

"He was a beautiful spirit and he had this unique ability to see people, to really see them, not look through them," a visibly shaken Adams also said in memory of Hoffman. "He just really saw people, and he will be missed."

The somber segment was taped on Feb. 5, mere days after Hoffman, 46, was discovered dead by playwright David Katz in his New York City apartment from an apparent drug overdose.

Clearly, the tragedy was still resoundingly and painfully raw when Amy Adams addressed it before the show’s live audience. She reportedly even withdrew from other television appearances to avoid speaking on the matter of Hoffman's passing further.

The day after taping, she would be seen attending a private wake for the late actor alongside some of his other famed former colleagues, including Cate Blanchett, who later chose to pay homage to her fallen former "Talented Mr. Ripley" co-star in a slightly more cheerful fashion: devoting her BAFTA win for Best Actress in "Blue Jasmine" to him.

"I would like to dedicate this to an actor who has been a continual, profound touchstone for me, a monumental presence who is now so sadly in absence — the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman," Blanchett said in a solemn acceptance speech on Sunday. "Phil, your monumental talent, your generosity, and your unflinching quest for truth both in art and in life will be missed by not only me, but so many people ... You raised the bar continually, so very, very high."

[Related: What Philip Seymour Hoffman Told Us About Grieving]

Adams, who is enjoying her fifth Oscar nomination — and first in the Best Actress category — this year, also spoke to a few less dour subjects during her time on "Actors Studio," including her need to let go of her duplicitous "Hustle" alter ego, Sydney Prosser.

Unlike Adams, the con artist character beckons false sentiment so readily it's hard to know which of her beaus does not have wool draped over his eyes. Adams explained that it was one on-screen persona she just couldn't hang onto.

"Sydney had to go, when I was done," she explained. "She had to go."