"Phil Hoffman and I had two things in common," writes Aaron Sorkin, the creator of West Wing and Newsroom, in a short piece in Time. "We were both fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts."
Sorkin goes on to say he first met Hoffman on the set of the 2007 movie Charlie Wilson's War, for which Sorkin had written the screenplay.
"On breaks during rehearsals, we would sometimes slip outside our soundstage on the Paramount lot and get to swapping stories. It's not unusual to have these mini-AA meetings — people like us are the only ones to whom tales of insanity don't sound insane. 'Yeah, I used to do that.' I told him I felt lucky because I'm squeamish and can't handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish. And he said this: 'If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won't.' He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean."
Sorkin adds that Hoffman, a 'kind, decent, magnificent, thunderous actor," did not die from an "overdose of heroin — he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he'd just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine."
And finally Sorkin notes: "He didn't die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed — he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it. ... Let's add to that 10 people who were about to die who won't now."