By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City– There was no one else but the late Philip Seymour Hoffman who’s best for the lead role in the movie A Most Wanted Man which opens this Friday, director Anton Corbijn told the press in mid-Manhattan yesterday.
“There couldn’t be any other. Philip is Gunther Bachmann,” Corbijn said, likewise known for his work on Control (2007) and The American (2010).
A Most Dangerous Man emerges to be a highly relevant and realistic espionage story in the midst of the Middle East crises. “Way beyond the fantasy of James Bond, Bachmann is real, the epitome of a sturdy spy who is also a victim of the system,” Corbijn quipped.
Hoffman who would have turned 47 today, July 23, plays the top spy in the John Le Carre novel based film, a well-calculated post-9/11 thriller. He died of mixed drug overdose in February 2014 in his Manhattan apartment. Hoffman, a native of New York, is survived by his three children and partner Mimi O’Donnell.
During the entire filming process in Hamburg, Hoffman carried his passion for his craft. “He showed no signs that he was struggling with personal issues that may have affected his work,” Corbijn said.
Hoffmann spoke in a highly polished German accent in the movie, after Corbijn had asked him and actress Rachel McAdams to enroll in a German language school for six months.
“You know, it is too bad when in the beginning of the film, the actor speaks of a different language then speaks English all throughout the entire film.”
A Most Dangerous Man, based on a novel by John Le Carre, is about half-Chechen, half-Russian immigrant Issa Karpov (a debut for Grigoriy Dobrygin) who is brutally tortured and turns up for help from his Turkish friends to claim his father’s ill-gotten fortune. Lawyer Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) assisted him through the ordeal and connects him to banker Thomas Brue (Willem Dafoe).
Gunter Bachmann handles the Karpov case but rival German and US security agencies question his capability to lead the operations. Undaunted, Bachmann does his job intricately, only to be intercepted by rival spies equally interested in the case.
“I liked John Le Carre’s story. It was engaging to make the novel into a two hour film,” Corbijn told the press.
(Photos by Marivir R. Montebon and Google)