The director of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has revealed to the Huffington Post why he refused to use ‘digital trickery’ to finish Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final scenes.
The Hollywood actor, who passed away in February, had been filming his part as Plutarch Heavensbee for the last two parts of the film franchise.
And, following his death, it was initially thought that director Francis Lawrence would use CGI to complete the remaining scenes.
However, he has now told how he made the decision to not finish off Hoffman’s scenes using special effects.
Instead, he opted to re-write the script slightly after the cast and crew took a break in the wake of the Hollywood star’s passing.
Speaking to HuffPost Live, he said: ‘He had two scenes with dialogue that were left and we decided we didn’t want to try any digital trickery with him, so we rewrote his scenes and gave the dialogue to other actors.
‘I just think to try to fake a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance would have been catastrophic and I would never want to do that.’
Lawrence, who also directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, also praised Hoffman for his near-flawless acting efforts on Mockingjay.
‘He was constantly sort of grinding away at a scene and was able to dig down and down and down, deeper and really find the dynamics of the relationships that he’s in.
‘And then once you’ve done that process then you don’t really need many takes at all with him.’
He added: ‘He was one of the greatest actors, I think, of all time and I just think to try to fake a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance would have been catastrophic and I would never want to do that.
‘I just think this was the best way to be able to get around such a horrible thing.’
Earlier this year, a Lionsgate representative revealed they would be coming up with a plan after losing one of their lead cast members.
‘We’re all extraordinarily sad. But as it relates to production, it’s going to have no impact. Obviously, we’re going to have a couple of work-around issues but the movie will be creatively whole,’ the executive said.
‘His performances in both [remaining] movies will be up to the best of his craft. We feel it will be a good tribute to him.’
The tragic actor died in February at the age of 46, after taking a fatal combination of heroin, cocaine and other drugs.
Since his death, he has appeared in a number of posthumous movies, the latest being Mockingjay, the third and penultimate movie in the hit Hunger Games franchise.
In the films, Hoffman stars as Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. After having a fleeting appearance in Catching Fire, his character becomes more prominent in the Mockingjay films.
Lead cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson have recently been busy promoting the dystopian film, which is set to perform well at the international box office this weekend.