When it was first reported that Philip Seymour Hoffman was being courted to join The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I’m not sure many people actually believed he’d take the part. Gary Ross’ first entry in the franchise was a hit with both audiences and critics and boasted Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence as its lead, but Hoffman isn’t typically one to take on franchise roles (Mission: Impossible III being the glaring exception). Nevertheless, it was subsequently confirmed that Hoffman would indeed be joining the cast as Plutarch Heavensbee. It’s a fairly crucial role, but it’s tough to get into specifics without spoiling those that haven’t read the book.
Hoffman recently talked a bit about why he decided to take the part and what drew him to the character, but in doing so he essentially spoils his character’s entire arc. For those that have read Suzanne Collins’ book trilogy, or if you don’t care about spoilers, hit the jump to see what he had to say.
For those unaware, the character of Plutarch Heavensbee is the new Head Gamemaker in Catching Fire following the demise of Wes Bentley’s Seneca Crane in the first film. Speaking with EW, Hoffman revealed that he accepted the offer to play Plutarch not only because of the people involved with the film, but also because of the respect he has for the character:
“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?”
Hoffman went on to say that he hadn’t read Collins’ books when he took the part, but he subsequently watched the first movie and is currently halfway through reading Catching Fire:
“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.”
Though Hoffman doesn’t really reveal much, I thought it was interesting to hear his reasoning behind signing on to Catching Fire given that his resume is lacking in franchise fare. Production on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins under the direction of Francis Lawrence soon, with a release date set for November 22nd, 2013.