Philip Seymour Hoffman On The Benefits Of 'Doubt'

Philip Seymour Hoffman i i

Philip Seymour Hoffman has been nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt. Miramax Films hide caption

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman has been nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt.

Miramax Films

Watch Clips From 'Doubt'

In the film Doubt, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a charismatic priest and gym teacher who provokes a nun's suspicion by favoring a 12-year-old student. It's a role that earned Hoffman an Academy Award nomination in the best supporting actor category.

Hoffman won an Oscar in 2006 for his lead role in Capote. His other film credits include Synecdoche, New York and the Coen brothers' cult-classic The Big Lebowski.

But, as Hoffman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, he wasn't always an actor. In high school he wrestled and played baseball and football until he was sidelined by a neck injury. Then he turned to theater and found, to his surprise, that acting and playing sports drew on similar talents:

"What it takes to be a great athlete is the same thing that it takes to be a great actor," says Hoffman. "... that kind of concentration, that kind of privacy in public and that kind of unselfconscious kind of experience are very similar."

This interview originally aired on Dec. 10, 2008.

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