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Hoffman didn’t die from heroin overdose — he died from heroin
Noted Hollywood screenwriter, producer and playwright Aaron Sorkin says his good friend, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, didn’t die because of a heroin overdose. He died, Sorkin wrote in a letter to Time magazine, simply because he was an addict and used heroin.
“Phil Hoffman, this kind, decent, magnificent, thunderous actor, who was never outwardly ‘right’ for any role but who completely dominated the real estate upon which every one of his characters walked, did not die from an overdose of heroin — he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine,” Sorkin wrote.
“He didn’t die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed,” Sorkin continued, “he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it.”
Sorkin said that he and the actor shared a similar past of drug addiction. Both men overcame their addictions many years ago. But Hoffman reverted to drugs last year, and was once again shooting up heroin and reportedly drinking a lot as well. He was found dead in his Manhattan apartment February 2 by a friend. There was a syringe still stuck in the actor’s arm, and empty heroin packets nearby.
“Hoffman and I had two things in common,” Sorkin wrote. “We were both fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts…On breaks during rehearsals, we would sometimes slip outside our soundstage on the Paramount lot and get to swapping stories…I told him I felt lucky because I’m squeamish and can’t handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish. And he said this: ‘If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.’ He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean.”
Along with the many memorable roles that Hoffman created, Sorkin said, we should add the “10 people who were about to die who won’t now.”
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Aaron Sorkin is an American Emmy and Academy Award winning screenwriter, producer and playwright, and a close friend of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sorkin wrote the screenplays for two of Hoffman’s films: Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) and Moneyball (2011). Sorkin’s works also include A Few Good Men, The American President, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Social Network and The Newsroom.
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