Philip Seymour Hoffman attended last month's Sundance Film Festival to promote "A Most Wanted Man," which will now be released posthumously following his death at age 46.
PARK CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES (REUTERS) - Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won an Oscar for the film "Capote," was found dead in his New York City apartment on Sunday (February 02) of an apparent drug overdose, a New York Police Department source said.
Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar for the 2005 film "Capote," caught up with Reuters reporterPiya Sinha-Roy at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where he was promoting his latest film, "A Most Wanted Man." The film, based on John le Carre's best-selling thriller novel of the same name, is a tale of spies and terrorism, set in Hamburg, Germany, a city that has been on high alert after the 9/11 hijackers planned their attack on America from there, and was directed by Anton Corbijn.
"Well, it's the same challenge you always have, to do right by the story and to try to illuminate it in a way that hopefully is surprising, you know?" said Hoffman, in a video captured on a cellular phone.
The film follows the mysterious arrival in Hamburg of a destitute Chechen-Russian immigrant named Issa (played by Grigoriy Dobrygin), who lays claim to a large fortune in a bank account with the help of an attractive human rights lawyer, played by Rachel McAdams. Issa, a deeply religious Muslim man, wants to donate the money to charities supporting the Islamic faith. Gunther and his team, who are investigating a company they suspect have ties to terrorist groups, are alerted to Issa's arrival and donation plans, and embark on a cat-and-mouse chase to gain evidence of terrorist connections. Hoffman plays German spy Gunther Bachmann, a man driven by the shame of previous failure into an obsessive pursuit of capturing terrorists by any means necessary.
"I connected a lot of it, you know, I think it would be hard for anyone not to kind of connect with the loneliness, he is pretty lonely, he's a very driven, obsessive guy, you know, he's not unforgiving, of himself in a lot of ways, and there's a lot of people carry in one way or another," he adds.
Born in upstate New York, Hoffman won an Academy Award for the 2005 biographical film "Capote," in which he played writer Truman Capote. He also received three Academy Award nominations as best supporting actor, for "The Master" in 2013, "Doubt" in 2009 and "Charlie Wilson's War" in 2008.
Hoffman burst onto the film scene after more than a dozen earlier roles, in 1997's "Boogie Nights," in which he played a lovelorn gay man in the movie about the porn industry. Soon after that he played a rich playboy in 1999's "The Talented Mr. Ripley" opposite Matt Damon, Gwenyth Paltrowand Jude Law.
While he appeared in blockbusters such as "Twister" and "The Hunger Games" series, Hoffman was more associated with the independent film world for his intense portrayals of often disturbing and complex characters in such films as "Happiness," in which he played an obscene phone caller, and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead."
In the latter film he played a son who schemes to rob his parents' jewelry store, resulting in their deaths. But Hoffman could also play nice, as in "Magnolia," in which he played the role of an angelic nurse.
Hoffman spoke in the past of struggling with drugs, including a 2006 interview in which he told CBS he had abused anything he could get his hands on, and that he liked it all.