The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's Philip Seymour Hoffman Explains Why He Took the Role of Plutarch Heavensbee
08.06.12 by Ryan
Last month, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was confirmed for the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in the upcoming sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. While any movie would be happy to get an actor of Hoffman's caliber, the project seemed like an odd fit for the actor, who usually eschews major studio fare for independent projects. However, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hoffman admitted that he took the role because he thought it was "interesting" and he "liked the people involved."
It’s a great group of actors. It’s a great environment. And the character was something I was attracted to. It was just an interesting role.
For those who haven't read Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire novel, Heavensbee becomes the new Head Gamemaker for the Hunger Games, succeeding The Hunger Games' Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley). Hoffman said he didn't read the books prior to taking the role but has now watched the first movie and is halfway through Catching Fire. "It’s good," said the actor. "I’ve read the script, which is true to the book — I kinda ruined it for myself. [Laughs] But I’m reading it anyway, because I really want to find out everything I need to know about this guy."
[WARNING: SPOILERS]Of course, reading the books reveals a few secrets about Heavensbee, who isn't all that he seems. According to Hoffman, the dual nature of the character is what really drew him to the part. "He’s somebody who’s part of the revolution, but you don’t know it," said Hoffman. "The idea that somebody would be risking themselves in such an extreme way to join something that’s that dangerous because he thinks it’s the future...that’s interesting stuff, you know?" [END SPOILERS]
Heavensbee also has a role in the third book, Mockingjay, which means that Hoffman will be continuing with the franchise for a few more movies, as the third book will be split into two parts. Despite joining an already successful movie franchise, Hoffman isn't concerned about all the attention.
Things always pass over, you know? I don’t know what it will be like. But, you know, I’m not playing Katniss. [Laughs] I’m not in high-profile movies in that way too often, so it usually passes. I’m 45. I think it will be all right.
Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) from a script adapted by Academy Award–winning screenwriters Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine).