We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Philip Seymour Hoffman dead: 'It was anything I could get my hands on,' actor said of early drug use


Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his New York apartment, apparently from an overdose, had a history of drug problems going back to his early 20s.

The New York-based actor and director checked himself into rehab last year after admitting to snorting heroin. Hoffman said in May that he checked himself into a detox facility for 10 days as he desperately wanted to nip a drug problem in the bud. Hoffman stated that for a year he started relying on prescription drugs and then for a week in early 2013 he snorted heroin, a habit he believed he had kicked 23 years previously. 

Tributes Pour In For Philip Seymour Hoffman: Paltrow, Clooney, Bridges & More React

Hoffman first went into rehab for drugs and alcohol addiction after his graduation from New York Univirsity's Tisch School of the Arts in 1989. In 2006, during the lead up to his Best Actor Oscar win for Capote, he told CBS News' 60 Minutes about his past drug problems.

"It was all that [drugs and alcohol], yeah. It was anything I could get my hands on...I liked it all," Hoffman said. "I went [to rehab], I got sober when I was 22 years old," says Hoffman. " You get panicked..and I got panicked for my life."


It was in 2012 that his behaviour first started to seem erratic. While promoting The Master at the Venice Film Festival in September 2012 the actor was out of sorts and constantly fell asleep while giving  interviews at a press junket. He blamed his behaviour on jet lag.

In August the 46-year-old actor dropped out of shooting spy thriller Child 44. He was replaced by French actor Vincent Cassel in the adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith 1950's spy novel starring Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy. At the time, no official reason was given for his withdrawal, although it was widely rumoured in film circles that it was because of his failure to kick his drug habit.  

The last time Hoffman was seen in public at an official event was at the premiere of his latest film A Most Wanted Man at the Sundance Film Festival in mid-January. In Anton Corbijn's adaptation of the John Le Carré novel Hoffman plays the head of a German anti-terrorism unit. The film will have it's European premier at the Berlin Film Festival next week.

Watch Director Steve McQueen and Actor John Hurt pay tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman