Welcome to Cast Countdown with Hamilton. I will be regularly introducing a member of the Catching Fire cast and discussing what it is that they will be bringing to the role of their character. Fair warning, just in case you have not yet read the books, there may be spoilers here.
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
About Plutarch: Described only as a “large man,” Plutarch Heavensbee becomes the new head gamemaker after Seneca Crane’s services are terminated. There is more to him than meets the eye though – he is instrumental in orchestrating Katniss’ survival in the Quarter Quell and is the leader of the Capitol rebellion. Despite being on “her side,” it’s obvious to Katniss that Plutarch has his own agenda – winning the rebellion is just as important as how he looks doing it. Read Kelsey’s excellent Character Profile on Plutarch here.
About Philip Seymour Hoffman: At age 44, Hoffman has quite a large body of work to his name – often in supporting roles after his breakout role in Scent of a Woman he was in such films as Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Patch Adams, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, Red Dragon, Along came Polly, Capote (for which he won an Oscar), Mission: Impossible III, and Moneyball, to name a few. A favorite of mine in which he starred is Mary and Max – a lesser known, claymation film about an unlikely friendship between an older New Yorker with mental issues and a little girl from a messed up home in Australia.
Hoffman seems to often play characters with a bit of slime or sleaze attached to them. He can certainly be a warm person, or someone you feel sorry for, but there’s almost always something a little sketchy about the characters he portrays, which is perfect. Plutarch may be one of the good guys, but it’s clear he has his own agenda – even if he doesn’t realize it or think of it that way. Despite being against the Capitol, he still thinks like a Capitol citizen. It’s all a big show and he relishes pulling the strings and playing the games. The more I imagine Hoffman in this role, the more I think it’s a perfect fit. Plutarch needs to be played by someone you feel like you can trust, but don’t always want to. With the recent confirmation that Mockingjay will be broken up into two films, it seems pretty likely that Plutarch’s role will be somewhat expanded – like Snow’s was in The Hunger Games – and Hoffman certainly has the ability to grow with the movies and take on a more important role as time goes on.
Below is a clip from the critically acclaimed film Doubt, in which he plays another character we’re not sure if we can trust or not – a priest accused of taking advantage of a young boy.
Philip Seymour Hoffman on IMDB