Philip Seymour Hoffman Joins 'Hunger Games' - Why He's Great for the Role

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Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the most respected actors of his generation. Over his impressive career, he's built a reputation as an actor who can play virtually any role, big or small, and deliver in every scene. Apparently the producers of the "Hunger Games" film franchise agree with the rest of showbiz, and they've tapped Hoffman to join the cast of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the sequel to this year's blockbuster hit.

Philip will be playing Plutarch Heavensbee, a man behind a ruthless, televised death match in the new film. Playing a sadistic figure in a post-apocalyptic America may not be the kind of role that Hoffman is typically known for, but we think there are three very good reasons he's going to be perfect in the film, and here they are.

He's Got Oscar Gold - For his 2005 film "Capote," in which he played iconic writer Truman Capote, Philip won the Best Actor Academy Award. In other words, he has serious chops. He's a natural scene-thief and he often does so not with over-the-top acting but with his ability to completely inhabit a character he's charged with playing. Also, it's never going to be a bad thing to hire someone with an Oscar statue to join your cast. In fact, the other, younger actors could probably learn a tremendous amount from working with such a consummate professional. It's a win-win any way you slice it.

He's a Chameleon - Over his career, Hoffman was played characters as varied as any of the great character actors in cinematic history. His roles in "Boogie Nights," "The Big Lebowski," and "Flawless" prove he can play any type of character he's asked to portray. He's played sympathetic characters, and he's played characters you just love to hate. He's also extremely adept at injecting humanity into characters that you may assume were devoid of it, so for this role he's perfect. Whether he's playing a real-life journalist like Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous" or a sociopath with a mattress store in "Punch Drunk Love," it's never had to "buy into" the role he's playing.

He Can Do Blockbusters - Sure, Hoffman has a lot of artsy, independent films on his resume. He's the kind of actor you'd expect to have so many smaller budget-films under his belt. But in films like "Mission Impossible 3" and "Along Came Polly," Philip proved he can play to a more broad audience, and pull it off just the same. The people behind this next "Hunger Games" film have nothing to worry about when it comes to carrying a scene in a big summer movie.

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