The director behind Ray Stevenson’s final film has written a heartfelt farewell letter to the star, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this week. Scroll down to read in full.
Péter Soós was flying home from the Cannes Film Festival when he was informed of Stevenson’s death aged 58.
The director had worked with the RRR, Thor, Vikings and Rome actor on historical drama 1242 Gateway to the West. Stevenson replaced Kevin Spacey in the role and his scenes wrapped in Hungary back in February. Above is an image of Stevenson on set with Soós.
“On Monday night, on the way home by plane from Cannes, I received the news that you had left us. Only now can I find the words to speak,” wrote Soós. “I have realised the overwhelming weight of the responsibility that has fallen upon me with our work together on what is surely your last feature film. I will do my very best to honor this.”
Soós added that Stevenson was “adored by everybody” and that it had been an “honor” to make a film with the actor. According to the filmmaker, the pair had even begun to work on a 1242 prequel based on Stevenson’s character, Cardinal Cesereani.
The film is now in late-post. Veteran Hungarian director Soós was working from script written by Áron Horváth and Joan Lane. Also starring are Michael Ironside, Eric Roberts and David Schofield.
Stevenson recently played the lead antagonist in SS Rajamouli’s Oscar-nominated box office hit RRR and is known for playing Volstagg in Marvel’s Thor franchise and for TV series Vikings. He was due to next film Cassino of Ischia, as we revealed in February. Without him, its status is unclear.
Read the letter below.
On Monday night, on the way home by plane from Cannes, I received the news that you had left us. Only now can I find the words to speak.
I have realised the overwhelming weight of the responsibility that has fallen upon me with our work together on what is surely your last feature film. I will do my very best to honour this. I have before me an image of you on set analysing Cesareani’s character with passion. You loved playing him and we had even begun to plan a prequel film about the Cardinal.
During the time we spent together on both sides of the camera, I came to experience how passionately you act, how passionately you live; how much you love to act and live. Everywhere you went on set, in the hotel, there was laughter all around. In just a moment we all fell under the spell of your overwhelming vitality. You were adored by everybody. It was an honour to make a film with you.
Your last line in the film was, “I shall be with you!” I’ve got your message. I promise you, that’s how it will be.
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