Beyond his villainous turn in “Mission Impossible III,” and a small part in “Red Dragon,” Oscar-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman has, for the most part, avoided the tentpole world, at least since his early days as a relatively unknown actor in films like “Twister.” Which made it all the more surprising when he signed on to the next entry in the biggest new franchise of 2012, “The Hunger Games.” After all, the actor’s generally pretty picky with his roles, and it was initially hard to imagine him fitting in with the interestingly-facial-haired, day-glo world of the capital when he takes up the mantle of Plutarch Heavensbee, the replacement games-maker after Seneca Crane bit the poisoned berry at the end of the first installment.
But talking to EW about his role in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire“, Seymour Hoffman made it clear that he’s excited about the film and the role, even if he *SPOILERS* gave away a plot twist involving his character (for those who haven’t read the book at least), in the process. “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. 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?” *END SPOILERS*
The actor’s currently knee-deep in research, reading Suzanne Collins‘ “Catching Fire” novel, and he seems to be enjoying the process, “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 the actor isn’t concerned that he’ll seemingly be tied up for two more movies, “Mockingjay Pt. 1” and “Mockingjay Pt. 2,” up to the end of 2015. “Things always pass over, you know? I don’t know what it will be like. But, you know, I’m not playing Katniss. 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.”
We enjoyed the first film a fair bit, and while intially concerned about the hiring of Francis Lawrence to direct, Hoffman getting involved was a bit of a comfort that the second film is certainly aiming as high as the initial installment. We’ll find out what kind of bizarre outfit the actor gets to wear when “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” hits theaters on November 22nd, 2013.