Mark Sagliocco/Getty; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Justin Long and Philip Seymour Hoffman
On Thursday, the Dodgeball actor posted two throwback photos on Instagram along with a touching tribute to the late actor. Long's post was on the ninth anniversary of Hoffman's death from a drug overdose at the age of 46.
"Thinking about Phil Hoffman today," he wrote. 'Can't believe it's been 9 years…"
Long recalled meeting Hoffman for the first time while working on Galaxy Quest with Hoffman's buddy, Sam Rockwell.
"One day Sam said 'My friend Phil is gonna stop by a little later,' " Long remembered. "I tried to play it cool but it must've been obvious how excited I was at even the possibility that the 'Phil' he was referring to was 'Seymour Hoffman'. When he drove up to where we all were, I was immediately struck by how boisterous and jokey he was…"
Long, 44, also revealed just how influential Hoffman was to him as an actor.
"When I was the young eager actor you see in this picture, Phil was an acting god to me - my Meryl Streep or Marlon Brando. He still is. Whenever I'm stuck in a scene I often find myself thinking 'What would Phil do?' — it always grounds me in the truth," Long shared.
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He continued: "When I think of him now I can also still hear his laugh. He'd laugh so hard he'd get a little wheezy and his eyes glistened with emerging tears — full and bold and lacking even a hint of self-consciousness. He laughed the way he acted. Today I'm missing both ❤️."
Many of Long's famous friends and followers sent messages of support too, including Jason Biggs, Maggie Q and Jeremy Renner — the latter who wrote, "He's the best ❤️❤️❤️."
Also on Thursday, Frozen actor Josh Gad posted a tribute to Hoffman.
"Not an anniversary I ever want to remember," he wrote. "I hate that this man is gone. He is indisputably in the top bracket of greatest Actors of all time. And what's more, one of the sweetest humans I have ever met. His last words to me were "we need to play brothers." If only…❤️💔🙏."
"Miss him dearly," commented Josh Brolin. "Knew him since he first became an actor. I watched the whole trajectory. Amazing human being."
Jason Merritt/Getty Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hoffman, whose body was found lying on the bathroom floor of his New York City apartment on Feb. 2, 2014, died of an apparent drug overdose, a law enforcement official confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.
"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving," his family said in a statement. "Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers."
The actor earned praise throughout his 23-year career for his powerful portrayals of quirky, sometimes ruthless characters in films including Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. His title role in the 2005 film Capote, as author Truman Capote, earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Also among his accolades were three additional Oscar nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in films Doubt, Charlie Wilson's War and The Master, as well as three Tony Award nominations.