Elizabeth Banks 'In Shock' Over Hunger Games Co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death

Feb 06, 2014 12:43 PM EST | By Dina Exil

Philip Seymour Hoffman's "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" co-star Elizabeth Banks has opened up about the actor's death

While appearing on NBC's "Today," Banks admitted to still being in shock over the actor's death and that she was still coping with the loss of her friend and fellow actor. The actress went on to call Hoffman's death a tragedy.

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

Both Banks and Hoffman were set to star in the two-part sequel of "Hunger Games: Mockingjay." Hoffman, 46, joined the "Hunger Games" cast in 2013's sequel, "Catching Fire." In the newest movie, he was set to reprise his role as Head Game maker Plutarch Heavensbee.

"He is an absolutely amazing actor, respected by everyone and part of our family at The Hunger Games," Banks added. "We will miss him terribly, and obviously, we're really upset for his children and his partner."

Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan home on Sunday from an apparent heroin overdose. Police reports stated that the Oscar winner was found with a hypodermic needle stuck in his left arm and about 50 bags of heroin around his apartment.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil," Hoffman's family said in a statement following his death. "This is a tragic and sudden loss."

The New York Daily News reported that Hoffman's death would not interfere with "The Hunger Games" film franchise or its scheduled release dates. A source close to the production revealed that Hoffman's parts were "substantially compete" at the time of his death, but Hoffman had seven days left to shoot of Part 2.

"Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now," said a statement from "Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence, director Francis Lawrence, author Suzanne Collins and producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik. "Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family."

Production company Lionsgate Films also issued a statement about losing the veteran actor.

"Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation," the studio said in a statement. "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 his partner of 15 years, designer Mimi O'Donnell and his children, a 10-year-old son and two daughters, ages seven and five.

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1" is expected to be released Nov. 21.

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