Director Anton Corbjin Talks Working With Philip Seymour Hoffman

By Paul Gaita 07/31/14

The director described Hoffman as "full of life" while working with the actor on A Most Wanted Man.

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Hoffman as Günther Bachmann. Lionsgate

HuffPost Live has posted a conversation with director Anton Corbjin in which he discusses working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman on the new thriller A Most Wanted Man.

The spy drama, based on the novel by John le Carré, is one of four films released after the Oscar-winning actor’s death in February 2014; the drama God’s Pocket, directed by Mad Men actor John Slattery, received a limited release in May of this year, while the second and third installments in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, will feature his turn as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. In Most Wanted, Hoffman gives his final lead performance as Günther Bachmann, a hard-drinking spymaster in charge of a covert anti-terrorism team.

In the interview, Corbjin addressed the connection between Hoffman’s disheveled character and his own state of being prior to his death. “He channeled part of the state he was in at the time into that character," the filmmaker said. “They were more closely linked than, say, Philip Seymour Hoffman and the character he played in The Master.”

Hoffman was known for his total immersion into a role. In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, the actor seemed to suggest a tremendous struggle with his commitment to a performance. “I got to remember to not kill myself, not beat myself up, not to get too worked up about it," Hoffman said. "There will be another film, there will be another relationship, or I’ll die and then I’ll be dead.”

But as Corbjin noted in his HuffPost chat, Hoffman was able to pull himself away from the brink at times. When he reunited with the actor to watch an early edit of the film, Corbjin said that Hoffman was “a great American guy who was sitting there, full of life and funny and intelligent."

A Most Wanted Man is currently in limited release across the United States.

Check out the full interview with Corbjin and HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri:

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.