Shoe on Other Foot: Hollywood Actor’s Open Letter to CA Rep. Adam Schiff Re. Russia

B A S I L   H O F F M A N

June 4, 2017

Congressman Adam Schiff  (D)
Ranking Member
House Intelligence Committee
FAX Number: 202-225-5828

Dear Congressman Schiff:

Your determination to uncover the extent of Russian interference in our 2016 elections is admirable.  With that in mind, I observed your sharp criticism of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords. As you must know, Russia has ratified that agreement and remains part of it.  That would put you and Russia on the same side of this issue. With regard to the foregoing observations, I must ask you several questions:

1. Did you or any member of your Washington or Glendale staff have contact, personally, by telephone, email, or any other means, with any representative of Russian industry or the Russian Government in 2015 or 2016, prior to November 8, 2016?

2. If any of those contacts occurred, will you provide me with the names of your representatives, the names and positions of the Russian representatives, and the dates and means of contact?  You may email me at [email protected].

I am not alleging any collusion, Congressman Schiff, but your reelection in 2016 and your curious agreement with Vladimir Putin on the critical issue of climate change is troubling.  I am sure that you will report your findings to Special Counsel Robert Mueller as soon as you have gathered the information.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this very important matter.


Basil Hoffman

Basil Hoffman

Basil Hoffman is an American character actor, best known for his work, often in classic films, with distinguished film directors including Peter Bogdanovich, Mario Monicelli, Richard Benjamin, Carl Reiner, Peter Medak (five times) and Alan J. Pakula (twice); Academy Award winners Ethan and Joel Coen, Paolo Sorrentino, Michel Hazanavicius, Steven Spielberg, Delbert Mann, Blake Edwards, Stanley Donen, Sydney Pollack, Ron Howard and Robert Redford (twice); and many others. He appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: Ordinary People and The Artist. He has worked with fourteen Oscar winning actors: Sophia Loren in Lady Liberty, Gene Hackman and Liza Minnelli in Lucky Lady, Dustin Hoffman and Martin Balsam in All the President's Men, Jason Robards in All the President's Men and Comes a Horseman, Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Christopher Plummer in "The Moneychangers", Mary Steenburgen in Pontiac Moon, Jane Fonda in The Electric Horseman and Comes a Horseman, Christopher Walken in Communion and The Milagro Beanfield War, Renee Zellweger in Down With Love, J.K. Simmons in 3 Geezers! and Jean Dujardin in The Artist. He also appeared with Oscar winners Philip Seymour Hoffman in Culture and Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People, but shared no scenes with them. He worked with two Oscar winning actors in films for which they won the award, Jason Robards in All the President's Men and Jean Dujardin in The Artist. He is one of only two actors who has worked four times with actor/director Robert Redford, twice with Redford as an actor and twice with Redford as the director. Jane Fonda is the only other actor who has worked four times with Robert Redford, with Redford as an actor but never as the director. When he arrived in Hollywood in 1974, no movie/TV agent would represent him. In 1978 after appearing in six major studio pictures for distinguished directors including two future Oscar winners (and three films for directors who were nominated but didn't win), he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Four years later, director Ron Howard cast him in Night Shift. It was the first feature in which he was hired from an audition. He has worked with five Academy Award winning directors for whom he had never auditioned. In 2008 he served in Beirut as U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Lebanon. He is also the author of the acting textbooks, "Cold Reading and How to Be Good at It" and“Acting and How to Be Good at It" (and The Second Edition) with a foreword by Sydney Pollack.

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