Inside Philip Seymour Hoffman & Justin Theroux’s Twisted Drug Play — The Sick Scenes That Were A Dark Omen Of Hoffman’s Relapse

While Justin Theroux mourns the death of his close friend Philip Seymour Hoffman, has learned that Jennifer Aniston‘s fiancé witnessed Hoffman’s addiction spiral and eventual relapse many times before — on stage.

Hoffman and Theroux starred as a heroin addict and his drug-dealing gay lover in a production of the play “Shopping and F***ing” in New York in 1998.

The piece by British playwright Mark Ravenhill is an “unsettling” look at a group of junkies, prostitutes, drug dealers and sex slaves. Hoffman played Mark, a gay or bisexual heroin junkie who relapses after a trip to rehab, while Theroux played Robbie, his gay lover and a sometime ecstasy dealer.

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Hoffman’s Mark “is possessed of enough chemical and sexual dependency issues to keep several clinics busy,” one early reviewer wrote, citing Hoffman’s “sometimes creepy precision” in playing the role.

Indeed, in the play’s opening moments, Hoffman’s character vomits — apparently from heroin withdrawals — as Theroux’s Robbie comforted him.

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“I hate the scag,” Hoffman’s Mark says, referencing a street term for heroin. “…I’m off the scag. Ten days without the scag. And I’m going away [to a drug treatment center]. … I need help.”

In a tragic case of life imitating art, Hoffman would enter rehab himself last year after reigniting his heroin habit. Sadly, treatment was ineffective and he relapsed soon after — as does his character in the play, eventually.

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But when Hoffman’s character returns from treatment, his first order of business is reigniting his relationship with Theroux’s Robbie — according to the script, the two were even directed to kiss multiple times, and Theroux was directed to drop his pants in front of Hoffman and ask him for oral sex.

By the end of the play, Hoffman’s character relapses on cocaine.

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In his own life, relapse proved to be fatal. As Radar has reported, he was found dead earlier this month of an apparent heroin overdose in his Manhattan apartment. Theroux has since been a prominent presence at his estranged girlfriend Mimi O’Donnell‘s home and at Hoffman’s wake and funeral, surely recalling the tragic scenes that would eventually prove to be a little too true to life.

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