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Philip Seymour Hoffman Talks About What Drew Him to Catching Fire

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the most respected–and elusive–actors in the biz. He’s pretty selective about his roles, which is why a lot of people were hesitant to believe that he’d sign on to such a blockbuster franchise as The Hunger Games. But sign on he did, as the character of Plutarch Heavensbee. In an interview with EW Hoffman sat down to discuss what it was about the character that made him want to take it on. Click through the jump to read what he had to say. (And yes, it does contain spoilers for Catching Fire. Consider yourself warned.)

Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker, plays a crucial role in Catching Fire. Hoffman listed some reasons he took the role:

“I 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. [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?”

It is indeed. Hoffman also revealed that he hadn’t read the books when he accepted the role–he’d only read the screenplay. Which is to say, Hoffman has inadvertently soothed our worries about the state of the script for the second movie. If an actor of Hoffman’s notorious pickiness signed on to a role in it, we’re taking that as a sign there’s something winning to it.

He’s reading the books, now, though:

“It’s good. 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.”

And hey, it’s more than we can say for Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in the latter six Harry Potter films but reportedly never read the source books.

On if he has any worries that the film will land too much attention on his doorstep (both by fans and those pesky paparazzi), Hoffman had this to say:

“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.”

There’s a lot of hype and drama and news floating around the production of the second Hunger Games movie–a game of director musical chairs and the fact that we still don’t officially know who’s playing Finnick among them. But we for one are incredibly happy with the casting of this particular fellow, and can’t wait to see what he brings to the role.

(Image via My Film Views)

(Collider via Entertainment Weekly)

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Alanna is a pop culture writer who works as the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, an entertainment writer for Bustle, and a freelancer for everywhere. She has a lot of opinions about Harry Potter and will 100% bully you into watching the shows that she loves. Don't worry, it's a sign of friendship.