NEW YORK — Philip Seymour Hoffman, the favorite to take home the best actor Oscar next month, says he never would have reached such heights if he didn’t get sober 16 years ago.
Hoffman, whose performance as Truman Capote in “Capote” has drawn enormous praise, speaks in an interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air Sunday (7 p.m. ET) about nearly succumbing to substance abuse when he was younger.
The 38-year-old actor says that after graduating from New York University’s drama school, he fell into a fast-paced city social life.
“It was all that [drugs and alcohol], yeah. It was anything I could get my hands on ... I liked it all,” Hoffman says.
He changed quickly, however.
“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.”
Hoffman’s first notable movie role was “Scent of a Woman” in 1992. He gradually became one the most critically acclaimed character actors after films like “Boogie Nights,” “Happiness” and “Cold Mountain.”
He’s glad fame didn’t come until he had cleaned himself up.
“I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they’re beautiful and famous and rich,” he says. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’d be dead.”’
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