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Sunday 4 December 2016

Hoffman: Directing myself was hard

Published 06/11/2011 | 06:16

Philip Seymour Hoffman says being a director and actor on a film is tough
Philip Seymour Hoffman says being a director and actor on a film is tough

Philip Seymour Hoffman has admitted he found it hard directing himself in his latest film.

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The Oscar-winner, who takes both the director's chair and the leading role in Jack Goes Boating said: "I didn't like directing myself.

"I like someone else telling me I'm not good, challenging me and putting a good, strong firm hand out there for me to take. Knowing I was the only one I could turn to was uncomfortable."

To help him cope, he'd take time out from the set. "I'd walk off, go in a room, do my acting prep and come back and be the actor.

"And that really took a shift of concentration and focus that was kind of immense." Laughing quietly, he added: "It's a small movie with four main characters and in a lot of scenes there are just two actors, so you're half the acting.

"That was tricky because no one should be thinking about themselves that much through any given day. It's just not healthy."

Jack Goes Boating is an unusual tale of love, friendship and betrayal that centres on three relationships: a marriage that's reaching its end, a blossoming romance and a friendship between the two male characters.

Although Hoffman has been directing theatre productions for more than 10 years, he wasn't looking to helm a movie project. The opportunity arose when someone suggested turning the off-Broadway play into a movie and co-star John Ortiz threw his name into the ring.

He explained: "I started getting ideas for the story and thought, 'Well I guess this makes sense, this feels right'. I trusted I would have a voice, and kept myself open and humble to learning whatever came my way from the people I was working with."

:: Jack Goes Boating is in cinemas now.

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