At the Apple TV+ show’s premiere in Los Angeles Wednesday night, the cast and other creatives behind the forthcoming series Black Bird paid tribute to their fallen co-star Ray Liotta.
The acclaimed actor passed away unexpectedly May 26 at the age of 67.
“He’s a magnificent actor and a magnificent person. He was a great guy,” Greg Kinnear tells Variety.
He continued, “Listen, I would say he was great no matter what — I mean, he could’ve read the phone book in this thing and I would say he’s great — but I genuinely think he’s extraordinary in this in a way that is going to knock people out.”
Dennis Lehane, the writer and executive producer of Black Bird, noted, “He meant everything to us.”
He adds, “I wrote the part for him, it was my dream to work with him. He was as good as advertised. He raised all boats, and he never gave the same take twice.”
Calling Liotta the “complete, consummate professional,” Lehane noted, “And then when he died, it was tough because our last conversation three weeks earlier had been about what we were gonna do next.”
He tells the trade, “We just hope that at least the legacy lives on through this performance.”
Variety noted that Paul Walter Hauser, who plays suspected serial killer Larry Hall in the fact-based series, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Liotta’s Field of Dreams character “Shoeless” Joe Jackson on it.
In the film, Liotta plays the cop dad of Kingsman series lead Taron Egerton‘s clean-cut Jimmy Keene, who is facing a 10-year stint in prison.
Liotta’s daughter Karsen and fiancée Jacy Nittolo also walked the red carpet to commemorate one of his last roles.
Black Bird premieres July 8 on Apple TV+.
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