Elizabeth Banks “in Shock” Over Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death, Hunger Games Cast “Will Miss Him Terribly”

Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Elizabeth Banks
Hunger Games star Elizabeth Banks says she's "in shock" over costar Philip Seymour Hoffman's death and the cast "will miss him terribly." Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

A Hunger Games salute to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Elizabeth Banks appeared on the Today show Wednesday, Feb. 5, and said she's still trying to cope with the loss her Hunger Games: Catching Fire costar.

"I'm still processing it," Banks, 39, explained. "I really am in shock."

Hoffman was found dead from an apparent heroin overdose in his New York City apartment on Feb. 2. The 46-year-old Oscar-winning actor joined the Hunger Games cast in 2013's sequel, Catching Fire, as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee.

"He is an absolutely amazing actor, respected by everyone and part of our family at The Hunger Games," said Banks, who plays District 12 escort Effie Trinket in the franchise. "We will miss him terribly, and obviously, [we're] really upset for his children and his partner." She added of Hoffman's death: "It's just a tragedy."

Hoffman was set to reprise his role as Heavensbee in the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. Much of his scenes for Part 1 were already completed, but Hoffman had seven days left to shoot of Part 2 before his death.

"Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now," a statement from star Jennifer Lawrence, director Francis Lawrence, author Suzanne Collins, and others on behalf of the Hunger Games cast said Feb. 2. "Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest condolences go out to his family."

Production company Lionsgate Films also issued a statement on losing the veteran actor. "Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation," the studio said. "We're very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip's family."

Hoffman is survived by longtime partner Mimi O'Donnell and their three young children: Cooper, Tallulah and Willa.

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