Aaron Sorkin on Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death: 10 Other People Who Were About to Die Won't

Aaron Sorkin on Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death: 10 Other People Who Were About to Die Won't

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Sorkin writes that both were “fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts”

Aaron Sorkin, an Academy Award winning screenwriter and television creator who has struggled with addiction in the past, says Philip Seymour Hoffman talked about the silver lining of his death years beforehand while both bonded over their drug use on the set of “Charlie Wilson's War.”

“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,'” Sorkin wrote in Time. “He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean.”

Also read: Three Charged With Drug Possession After Raid in Philip Seymour Hoffman Investigation

Sorkin, who also wrote Hoffman's role in “Moneyball,” called the 46-year-old a ”decent, magnificent, thunderous actor” who “completely dominated the real estate upon which every one of his characters walked.”

The “Newsroom” creator does not believe Hoffman died of “an overdose of heroin,” however. Sorkin says Hoffman simply “died from heroin.”

Also read: Philip Seymour Hoffman Friend Sues National Enquirer for $50 Million Over Gay Lovers Claim

“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 — he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it.”

Hoffman was found dead in his West Village apartment on Sunday. Reports have suggested approximately 50 bags of heroin where found at the scene. Although it is largely suspected that the actor overdosed on heroin, an official cause of death has not yet been determined.

A New York medical examiner told TheWrap on Wednesday that the initial autopsy was inconclusive, and that further tests will be required.

  • ForConsideration

    So, now Hollywood is turning this into a ‘hero’ story? Seriously? He was a drug addict who died as the result of his own choices in life. That doesn't make him evil. That doesn't mean he's a “bad” person. By all accounts, he was a GREAT guy and a terrific actor. Personally, I thought most of his work was excellent. And I've not heard one story of him being anything but a great guy. However, let's not deify him for his addiction. If some good comes out of this, that's great news. But this is a little like saying that Korea and Veitnam were good because we learned a bunch about surgery. Too many in Hollywood die of drug related causes. Unfortunate… and very sad.

    • Reivec

      Not sure your reading comprehension is up to par. He was simply relaying a previous conversation they had about possibly dying from their addictions. Sorkin is clearly trying to help send a message to avoid drugs to people that may be fighting that battle currently with the whole “didn't die from an overdose, but died from being a drug addict”. No one is being deified here. Someone made a fatal series of mistakes and Sorkin wants others to avoid that. Not everything is as black and white as everyone wants to turn it into.

      • ForConsideration

        Could you imagine someone trying to look on the ‘bright side’ of Sandy Hook? The drug use problem in the entertainment industry is off the charts. Nobody is outraged at this senseless death. Almost every article is about what a great guy he was (and I'm sure he probably was a great guy). But he was also a drug addict. He bought from drug dealers… and supported a drug industry. He Few seem to be all that angry about the problem of drugs in Hollywood. Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Corey Haim, River Pheonix, Dana Plato… the list goes on and on. When we lost all those kids in Sandy Hook, Hollywood was all about pushing a ban on guns. We loose great entertainers (who all seem to be great folks) every year… but no outrage. Nobody calling on production companies to require drug testing and to provide treatment for the actors on their movies. We'll be saying goodbye to more entertainers as the year goes on. And all will be ‘great people'… who are… dead. Why not attack the problem vs. lamenting it. Anyway, that's the point I was trying to make. Saved 10? I doubt it. Want to save 100 instead? Require drug testing and treatment and stop turning a blind eye to it.

      • C. Brooks

        This man, a self admitted drug addict, was allowed to continue working at his career which obviously bankrolled his addiction. He is just another cog in the problem of glorifying our media stars and their drug abuse problems. I don't think he should be vilified, nor should he be glorified either.

        • Dani

          What do you mean he was “allowed” to continue working? EVERY JOB bankrolls an addiction! You think people who aren't rich and famous aren't drug addicts? You think someone who drives a bus, cleans toilets or flips burgers can't be paying for an addiction? The job is the LAST thing addicts lose. It has nothing to do with fame or the amount of money one makes. But no…in your world everyone who is a self-admitted drug addict better quit their jobs right now so they don't make any money at all that can be spent on drugs! And overweight people should stop eating completely too! Must be nice living in your black and white mind.

          • C. Brooks

            First of all Dani, I suggest you get some professional help for your hostility issues. Yes, he was allowed to continue working. If he was a blue collar worker, he most likely would have failed a urine test and lost his job. Next, not all people who are addicts have jobs. I would wager that a good percentage of heroin addicts do not. The LAST thing that addicts like him lose is not their job, but their LIFE. And how do you know from one comment I have made on the internet exactly what kind or “color” of mind I have. Psychotherapy friend….it would do you good.

    • Dana

      What they're trying to say, and what you obviously missed, was that they were struggling with quitting, and Hoffman opined that even if he never quit, maybe if he died from it at least he'd help someone else. It's a heck of a way to look for a silver lining in the struggle of his life, but that's what he was doing.

      No one really has control over how they die. You think they do, but there are still celebs going around L.A. now who came close to sharing Hoffman's fate, and we don't even know they're clean. They have money for rehab, they have a PR team, and I'm sure they have the occasional relapse.

      I actually do think he died from an overdose, whatever his friends may preach. Heroin is illegal, it's not regulated, it's not labeled, and every time you shoot up you are playing Russian roulette as a result. Methadone doesn't work for everyone and tends to have side-effects that heroin doesn't have, so maybe we need to start talking about using actual, prescription heroin in rehab and tapering people off properly. It's no guarantee they won't start again later… but we need to do what will work for the greatest number of people.

    • alan lenske

      Try this once!!! Read it all over again with an empty mind, no thoughts of how you want it to be!! Sorkin is simply saying, he died from the use of “drugs” in this case “herion”. I had a friend that died of alcohol, I remember growing up with him and stopping for a beer after work once in awhile, then I remember several times in my life wondering how my friend could drink a quart and a half of “VODKA” a day!! They say he choked on his vomit! Like Hoffman overdosed!! Drug addition is a disease and I can bet you have friends that are addicts and you have no clue! Hollywood!!! that's just thrown out in front of us because most know the name do to fame!!! Today over a dozen kids under the age of “14” again the age of “14” will become Herion addicts, and today a dozen kids under the age of “16” will die or go to the ER because of a Herion overdose!! “BUT I BET YOU DIDNT HEAR ABOUT THOSE” or even care to hear, did you?

      • ForConsideration

        Alan… please… take a deep breathe my friend. It's all good. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. MOST of us have friends or relatives who have suffered at the hands of addiction. It's awful. For them. For us. The point of my original comment is this… I really don't want to hear about ‘silver linings’ (direct from the article). There are none. Not in situations like this. And the idea that it saved lives is not quantifiable. Maybe it did. But it doesn't diminish the problem of his drug addiction. It was his choice to start taking drugs again. He had the financial resources to get the help he needed. He (supposedly) was loved by so many… who were apparently to blind or self-absorbed to see he was in trouble and did nothing to help. What's worse… at the end of the next season… mark my words… he'll get posthumous awards from his peers in their self-glorifying awards programs. He's dead. He's dead because he was an idiot. And yes, you can be a GREAT guy and have wonderful skills and do many great things… and STILL be an idiot. It's sad and infuriating… all at the same time. Now is not the time to talk about silver linings. It's time to call attention to those in the entertainment industry who are struggling and put into place some safeguards to help them. Perhaps the insurance companies who insure the production phase will start requiring drug testing. I'm sure there were ‘silver linings’ from Sandy Hook… if you look hard enough. But we talk about silver linings much later. It's not the time.

        • kg2

          He was found with a couple of RX meds in his apt. ALL those meds are non narcotic and can aid in easing withdrawal. He had a week left on his movie he was filming. I guarantee he was planning on detoxing as soon as his filming was done. He probably was trying to keep himself functioning until he could take the time out to withdrawal. He knew he was going to die if he didn't stop. All addicts know when the time has come to quit and to do it right it takes planning, especially if you have gone through it before and know what you are getting yourself into. Methadone works but you have to come off of that too. It is not an easy fix. Some people who have done it before don't want to try it again because coming off the methadone is 10 X worse than heroin. It's tragic.

  • alumette

    So many philosophical discussions about heroin addiction. Bottom line is : you want…you get it…and you are willing to die for it….so go ahead and stop the ambiguity. We all die, at the end; but if you have the choice and you make it, don't be a pussy about it, and own it ! Good bye ! Hope you leave your family with enough money to have a comfortable life ! if you failed that one, as well…..you are a total disgrace.

    • Josh

      If they spend all their money on heroin, I'm pretty sure they won't have money to leave for their family.

  • PM

    Another junkie dead. Cool. maybe now the money he was spending on drugs won't fund a criminal underworld that potentially owned the teenage prostitution ring in the area.

  • SmokeScreenHustle

    Drug testing in Hollywood? Glad another junkie is dead because he was supporting the criminal underworld? Wow. Wake up. War on drugs is a failure. Addiction will never die. The thirst for drugs of all types from alcohol tp marijuana to cocaine and heroin, will NEVER cease. Some of your comments here are laughable. They will never drug test in Hollywood. If they do, it will be a program easily corrupted and unenforced. All goes back to the fact that there will ALWAYS be high demand for narcotics and drugs in general. And as long as there is demand, there is no stopping it. Why waste time, effort and money trying. The only thing worth worrying about and spending resources on is educating our youth about the dangers of drug use, and on regulating the substances so they do not end up in the hands of youth. Impossible to ensure that, but it is worth the effort. But all the other aspects of the war on drugs are not worth the effort. Let an adult put what they want in their body. They kill themselves, then that's their unfortunate decision. Its sad, but its just such an enormous waste to try and “stop” people from getting/doing drugs

  • karen

    Someone wanna tell me WHY his doctor did not suggest VIVATROL shot?

    • DR T.

      Shot can only be administered if the person is found still alive.