Actor and long-time friend Ethan Hawke tells the magazine that he never saw Hoffman drink until he started acting in the 2012 Broadway play Death of a Salesman.
Playwright David Bar Katz, who discovered Hoffman’s lifeless body on February 2, adds, “That play tortured him.” Friends say he wasn’t the same after playing the tragic character; he would break into tears nightly. “He was miserable throughout that entire run. No matter what he was doing, he knew that a 8:00 that night he’d do that to himself again,” Katz says. “If you keep doing that on a continual basis, it rewires your brain, and he was doing that to himself every night.”
Shortly after the production ended Hoffman told a friend that since he was sober for 23 years, he thought he could drink again “in moderation,” but a few months later he checked himself into rehab.
“He was a guy in his midforties who said to himself, ‘I never had a drink in my adult life.’ So maybe the adult thought he could handle it,” Katz said.