4 items from 2017
Bill Paxton was us.
Some actors project an air of unreality, as if they’re tuned in to a different frequency. Some are chameleons, taking pride in looking radically different with each role. Paxton was a versatile actor, but he wasn’t one of those kinds of performers. There was a solidity to him, a dependable core of raffish decency. His characters could be brash, calculating, and even shady, and they were often gleefully irreverent.
But most of the time, they’d end up doing the right thing. Or at least they’d try to do the right thing at some point — usually when the odds were most clearly stacked against them.
It’s easy to connect to the men Paxton played, because no matter what circumstances they were in, they responded as a regular person would. He didn’t play men with »
- Maureen Ryan
The movie deals with the events leading up to the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Paxton was a producer on the film, along with Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Matt Jackson and Nigel Sinclair.
The beginning of “Parkland” is set during Paxton’s boyhood. He was 8 years old when he joined his older brother and father to watch Kennedy give a speech in Fort Worth outside the Hotel Texas, just two hours before the assassination.
In 2007, Paxton saw photos of himself on a man’s shoulders on display at an event at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and subsequently purchased a copy of Vincent Bugliosi’s “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, »
- Dave McNary
Using their Spotter Network markers, hundreds of storm chasers and weather fanatics lined up to Paxton’s initials across the infamous ‘tornado alley’ in Kansas and Oklahoma in a heartfelt ode to the late actor.
Paxton starred in the 1996 disaster classic “Twister” in which he and Helen Hunt lead a team of lovable scientists on a dangerous mission to gather more information about the deadly cyclones. The movie went on to gross $241 million worldwide and became the second-highest-grossing movie of 1996 behind “Independence Day.”
Paxton went on to make the IMAX documentary “Tornado Alley” and often spoke about his fascination with the weather phenomena having grown up in nearby Texas.
- Variety Staff
“I’ve been reeling from this for the past half hour, trying to wrap my mind and heart around it,” Cameron said in an email to Vanity Fair. “Bill leaves such a void.”
Cameron and Paxton were frequent collaborators, working together on the likes of “Titanic,” “Aliens,” “True Lies,” and “The Terminator.” They also teamed on a music video for Paxton’s band Martini Ranch. The director said the two met 36 years ago on the set of a Roger Corman film.
Bill Paxton’s Career in Photos
“He came in to work on set, and I slapped a paint brush in his hand and pointed to a wall, saying ‘Paint that!,” Cameron said in the statement. “We quickly recognized the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. »
- Brent Lang
4 items from 2017
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