Some people may have been surprised at the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman, an actor known mostly for his roles in "serious" movies like Capote, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia, was joining the cast of the next Hunger Games movie. The guy is, after all, an Oscar winner with the opportunity to do all kinds of things with his prodigious talent.
But that's actually one of the things that make his decision to play Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire not surprising at all. He's more than earned his reputation in Hollywood as a versatile, brilliant actor who adds something invaluable to any film he's in. So why wouldn't he want a chance to be part of the hottest screen franchise going? And yes, maybe have a little fun after all those earnest, artistic, but often heavy-hearted movies?
"I liked the people involved," Hoffman explained recently. "It's a great group of actors. It's a great environment. And the character was something I was attracted to. It was just an interesting role."
Good people, good roleÂ—that is often all an actor needs when deciding whether to come on board a project. Hoffman also likes the story and the script and is currently familiarizing himself with all things Hunger Games in preparation for filming.
It's also not completely out of character for Hoffman to act in a blockbuster (as Catching Fire will surely be). He starred as the villain in Mission: Impossible III and featured in crowd-pleasers like Twister, Along Came Polly, and Almost Famous.
Hoffman's not the only well-regarded actor in the Catching Fire cast, either; he joins folks like Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and Amanda Plummer. Don't forget that Katniss herself, Jennifer Lawrence, has already snagged an Oscar nomination, too.
All in all, it makes perfect sense why Hoffman would want to get in on the Games. Check him out as Plutarch Heavensbee when Catching Fire comes out in November 2013.