'Hunger Games': Philip Seymour Hoffman on playing Plutarch in 'Catching Fire'
Why did the deeply serious, Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman want to join Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Donald Sutherland in the cast of the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire? “I liked the people involved,” says Hoffman, who recently signed on to play Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. “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. [SPOILER ALERT] He’s somebody who’s part of the revolution, but you don’t know it. 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?”
Hoffman hadn’t read Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels when he found out he might be up for a role, so he watched the first movie and is currently halfway through the second book. “It’s good,” he says. “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.”
As well known as Hoffman is, he’s only occasionally made his way into blockbuster-level movies, and Catching Fire will thrust him into one of Hollywood’s most closely scrutinized franchises. But the actor — who, if all goes according to plan, will also appear in Mockingjay — says he’s not too worried. “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.”