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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter during a screening of the Roger Ebert documentary "Life Itself," Ebert's widow, Chaz Ebert, said that her late husband had always thought Hoffman would be the perfect choice to play him should a fictional movie about his life be made. Though Roger Ebert had made public his desire to see Hoffman portray him on the big screen several years ago, Chaz Ebert told THR that the possibility had just been discussed recently at the Sundance Film Festival, where both she and Hoffman appeared to promote projects.
"I didn't see Phil at Sundance, but I was talking to someone, saying, 'You know he's here. I heard Roger would like [Hoffman] to play him in a movie, what do you think about that?'" Ebert told THR. " ... Roger and I thought he was just terrific. We thought he was one of the best actors of any age. He was just so versatile, and he was a brilliant, very smart human being."
Ebert also commented on Hoffman's death of an apparent heroin overdose, telling THR that she was still struggling to accept the news.
"It's so, so sad, and addiction is a really, really difficult thing," Ebert said. "I really have so much sympathy for his children and his partner and his mother, whom Roger knew and liked a lot."