Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death: Aaron Sorkin Says Actor Saved 10 Lives

8:43 AM PST 02/06/2014 by Hilary Lewis
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Aaron Sorkin

The screenwriter of two of Hoffman's films, "Charlie Wilson's War" and "Moneyball," reveals how the two shared their struggles with addiction.

Despite the tragedy of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, Aaron Sorkin says losing the actor to a drug addiction likely saved the lives of 10 people who might have overdosed themselves, but now won't.

Both the screenwriter and Hoffman battled drug addiction, and during breaks on the set of Charlie Wilson's War, which they worked on together, they would swap stories about their days using.

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"It’s not unusual to have these mini-AA meetings — people like us are the only ones to whom tales of insanity don’t sound insane," Sorkin writes in Time magazine. " 'Yeah, I used to do that.' 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.' He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean."

Indeed, that's what Sorkin hopes is happening in the wake of Hoffman's tragic death, in which the actor was found with a needle in his arm with envelopes of heroin, used and unused syringes and other drugs nearby.

And although Hoffman's exact cause of death has not yet been revealed, Sorkin says it wasn't an overdose that killed him — he died from using heroin.

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"We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine," Sorkin writes. "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."

Sorkin, who also wrote the screenplay for another Hoffman movie, Moneyball, hopes that the actor's legacy will not only include his impressive performances and his Oscar win, but also the lives that his death will now save.

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