Today, A Most Wanted Man hits theaters. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (in one of the final roles of his all-too-brief life) as an anti-terrorism expert stationed in Hamburg, where the 9/11 attacks were planned. The film is based on a book by John le Carré, and the author wrote a thoughtful essay about Hoffman in the buildup to the film’s release.
In it, he noted that on set, “Philip took vivid stock of everything, all the time. It was painful and exhausting work, and probably in the end his undoing. The world was too bright for him to handle.”
Hoffman’s ability to throw himself into roles was legendary, and while this unprecedented level of commitment led to some incredible work, it undoubtedly contributed to some of the demons Hoffman had to face.
His talent was undeniable, though, and le Carré noted that in inhabiting a German character despite being American Hoffman “Made his voice the only authentic one, the lonely one, the odd one out, the one you depended on amid all the others. And every time it left the stage, like the great man himself, you waited for its return with impatience and mounting unease.”
Directed by Anton Corbijn and also starring Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl, and Nina Hoss, A Most Wanted Man is in theaters now. You can read the full tribute at the link below.