Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died yesterday of an apparent drug overdose, appeared on 60 Minutes in 2006 just before he won an Oscar for his role in the movie "Capote."
In a candid interview with Steve Kroft, Hoffman said he first got sober at the age of 22 after a period of abusing drugs and alcohol in college.
"It was anything I could get my hands on," said Hoffman. "I liked it all." In the excerpt above, Hoffman tells Kroft why he decided to get clean.
Hoffman also told Kroft he had tried to quit drinking and drugs on his own for a couple of years, "to see if I could just kind of stop," but he eventually realized that he couldn't do it alone.
Hoffman describes his early drug use as "advanced" and says he might have died from drug abuse if his success in acting had happened at a young age:
"I always think, God, you know, I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19, and all of a sudden they're beautiful and famous and rich. I'm like 'Oh my God, I'd be dead.'"
When Kroft asked about Hoffman's first stint in rehab, Hoffman was reluctant to talk at first. But he told Kroft that rehab gave him a renewed outlook on life. It was there, he told himself, "You know, those thing you want to do Phil? Those things you want to get done? You can do them."
Kroft and Hoffman had a wide-ranging interview about life and work in Hollywood and on the stage. Hoffman describes how he sees the job of an actor: "If you can go to the theatre, and you're in a room with a bunch of other people, and what's happening in front of you is not happening -- but you actually believe it is. If I can do that, I've done my job."
When Kroft asked him what makes him so good at his job, Hoffman talked about his need to create a personal crisis for himself, to take risks, as a means to "get to the good stuff."