Ross Richie, President of BOOM! shared his memories on Facebook.
I worked with Bill Paxton once.
We cast him in 2 Guns. As a producer, the cast list was no slouch: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden, Paula Patton, it was the kind of cast you dream of assembling one day to make your movie.
But it was Bill that I got the calls about. People would call from out of the blue: agents, other producers, managers, “You’re going to LOVE Bill! He’s the best!”
And he was.
Kind, engaged, focused, a great conversationalist. So laid back and genuinely interested in the world.
I geeked-out on-set when he asked Edward James Olmos (who was working a Rubik’s Cube) if he solved one of those on the set of Bladerunner. The conversation that ensued had the two of them talking about doing an episode of Miami Vice after Bill had been in Aliens.
It was too much fun to have Bill tell me about James Cameron calling him out of the blue one day, telling him that he was going to drive by and pick him up and take him to see EVIL DEAD 2.
Bill was a true film fan and loved talking about everything — serious art films and B movies alike. He was also a true fan of art, talking at length about the work he was doing on a Tennessee Williams play, telling me about his blue collar dad’s love of collecting fine art paintings.
And a TEXAN. He loved to talk about Texas. And that comes from a guy who loves to talk about Texas!
As a movie and comic book fan, Bill was everything you want meeting a celebrity to be and a lot more.
Such a shame, what a guy.
We’ll miss you Bill, sorry to see you go so soon.
Crushed to wake this morning to the sad news that Bill Paxton had died. I only met Bill a few times, in conjunction with 2 Guns, but I’d been a fan since his maniacal blow-away performance in Near Dark, a movie-stealing performance that immediately made him one of my favorite actors. On every occasion he was warm, welcoming, funny & smart. When they were casting 2 Guns, Ross would call to say who was cast, & I’d tell him who they were cast as. I knew instantly when Ross mentioned Bill that he was our CIA villain, & I couldn’t have asked for better casting. (I would say that about the cast in general, & have, many times.) During my brief visit to the set Bill spent much of his off time between takes chatting with me about the film, how Hollywood works, crime fiction, history, Joe Don Baker movies, the Kennedy assassination (he swung Oswald; just found out this morning he was in Dallas that weekend & as an 8 year old saw a Kennedy appearance the day before) & several projects he wanted one day to get off the ground. (I don’t recall what they were, except that at least a couple had to do with his beloved Texas, & I couldn’t say if he ever managed it.) He mentioned he’d take the 2 Guns part because, following his long running HBO role as the bigamist patriarch on Big Love, he’d found himself typecast by Hollywood & patriarch roles were all he was then being offered, so he saw 2 Guns’ Earl as proof he could still play the psychobilly style characters that had pre-Big Love been his bread & butter. So I’m thrilled to have been, at least by extension, of some small service to him, a very small return on all the pleasure he has given me over the years. We weren’t drinking buddies or anything but I did run into him at conventions a few times after that, & he was never other than gracious & fun. It’s sad to think that can’t happen again. The world’s a darker place in his absence.
My condolences to his family, & his fans. He left a great body of work & a lot of love of life behind.
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