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02.16.2006

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN TELLS STEVE KROFT

February 16, 2006

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN TELLS STEVE KROFT THE TURNING POINT IN HIS LIFE WAS GIVING UP ALCOHOL AND DRUGS -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY ON CBS

If Philip Seymour Hoffman hadn't gone into rehab, his career and his life may not have lasted long enough for him to be nominated for best actor at this year's Oscars. For the first time publicly, the actor hailed for his performance as Truman Capote talks about his decision to get help for substance abuse in a 60 MINUTES profile to be broadcast Sunday, Feb. 19 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Fresh out of New York University's drama school, Hoffman was lured into New York City's fast life. "It was all that [drugs and alcohol], yeah, it was anything I could get my hands on...I liked it all," he tells Kroft.

But he saw the need to change early. "I went [to rehab], I got sober when I was 22 years old," says the 38-year-old Oscar nominee. "You get panicked...and I got panicked for my life," says Hoffman. "It really was just that."

He also realizes that getting sober before he got famous was a blessing. It makes him look at today's young acting stars in a concerned way. "I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they're beautiful and famous and rich," Hoffman says. "I'm like, 'Oh my God. I'd be dead.' You know what I mean? I'd be 19, beautiful, famous and rich. That would be it," he tells Kroft. "I think back at that time. I think if I had the money, that kind of money and stuff. So, yeah [I would have died]."

Hoffman's revelation was a rare candid moment for the journeyman actor, who has performed in 40 films in 14 years and remains humble despite his recent stardom. He tells Kroft he prefers not to reveal too much about himself for fear of hampering the characters he plays onscreen. "I think part of being an actor is staying private....Part of doing my job is that they [in the audience] believe I'm someone else," he says. "You don't want people to know everything about your personal life or they're going to project that also on the work you do," says Hoffman.

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