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While Twilight tended to attract tween girls, its latest rival, The Hunger Games, is roping in a broader group, from tween to full-on mature adult. Case en point, the latest “Hungry Hippo” (or whatever the annoying media name for Hunger Games fans is) is none other than the 45-year-old Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Hoffman is not just a fan of the Hunger Games trilogy – he is so impressed with the story and the cast that he sought out to join them. Hoffman has successfully been cast as the Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, and will appear in the second (Catching Fire), and final two (Mockingjay) installments of the series.
Hoffman recently shared that he originally wanted to become part of the franchise after seeing the group he would be working with. “I liked the people involved,” Hoffman said. “It’s a great group of actors. It’s a great environment. And the character was something I was attracted to.”
Hoffman continued explaining why he was interested in Plutarch Heavensbee specifically. “I 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?”
Hoffman admits that he hadn’t read the series, by Suzanne Collins, before watching the original Hunger Games movie, but he is now reading the second book, Catching Fire. He definitely likes what he’s reading.
“It’s good,” Hoffman said. “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.”
The cast that attracted Hoffman to the project in the first place consists of Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymich Abernathy), and Lenny Kravitz (Cinna).
Hoffman is well-known for his supporting roles in movies like Twister, The Big Lebowski, Almost Famous, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. He gained wide acclaim for his staring role in Capote. Hoffman won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the writer Truman Capote.
When asked if he is ready to be a part of the intense media focus on the Hunger Games franchise, Hoffman showed he’s not letting it get to his head when he replied, “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.”