Ray Stevenson Remembered for His 'Overwhelming Vitality' by Director: 'You Were Adored by Everybody'

·2-min read

Péter Soós, who directed the actor in the upcoming movie '1242: Gateway to the West,' paid tribute to the actor after his death at 58

Craig Sjodin/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty
Craig Sjodin/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

Ray Stevenson is being remembered as someone "adored by everybody."

The actor died on Sunday, just days before his 59th birthday. At the time of his death, Stevenson was on the Italian island of Ischia, where he recently began shooting the movie Cassino in Ischia, in which he played the lead character.

Péter Soós directed Stevenson in one of his final movies to wrap production, 1242: Gateway to the West, which also stars Michael Ironside and Eric Roberts. (Stevenson replaced Kevin Spacey in the role.)

In a written tribute to Stevenson published by Deadline, Soós remembered the actor and expressed the "responsibility" he feels in completing one of Stevenson's final films.

"I have realized 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," he wrote. "I have before me an image of you on set analyzing Cesareani’s character with passion. You loved playing him and we had even begun to plan a prequel film about the Cardinal."

Related: Paying Tribute to the Celebrities Who Have Died in 2023

<p>Jeff Spicer/Getty</p>

Jeff Spicer/Getty

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"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," wrote Soós. "Everywhere you went on set, in the hotel, there was laughter all around."

The director continued, "In just a moment we all fell under the spell of your overwhelming vitality. You were adored by everybody. It was an honor to make a film with you."

Soós said Stevenson's last line in Gateway to the West is "I shall be with you." He added of the significance of that dialogue: "I've got your message. I promise you, that’s how it will be."

Stevenson is also set to appear in the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series Ashok with Rosario Dawson, which debuts in August.

In a May 15 Facebook post, Cassino in Ischia director Frank Ciota wrote, "We are shooting this week in Ischia. Ray is killing it!" According to Deadline, the movie centers around Stevenson's character Nic Cassino, a once-popular action-movie star who tries to revive his career by going to Italy to "make the first ever Neo-Realist' action film with down-on-their-luck Italian directors."

"However," Deadline added in its summary, "unresolved struggles with his family resurface and he is forced to reconcile all he left behind on his road to fame."

It's unclear whether Cassino in Ischia will move forward and recast Stevenson in the lead role.

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