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‘The Circle’ Director Remembers Working With ‘Endlessly Generous’ Bill Paxton

Variety logo Variety 4/27/2017 Seth Kelley
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The Circle” director James Ponsoldt remembered the late actor Bill Paxton as “endlessly generous” during the film’s Tribeca premiere on Wednesday. The Dave Eggers adaptation was Paxton’s final film project before his death in February at age 61.

“Bill was amazing,” Ponsoldt said. “He was one of my favorite actors for the longest time, going back to when I was a kid.”

The director, known for “The Spectacular Now” and “The End of the Tour,” added, “He was even better than what I could have hoped for. He was endlessly generous, obsessed with the details his character, and generous with the actors that he worked with. He himself was a filmmaker so he understood the job that everyone had, and respected everyone. He’s the type of guy who would text you in the middle of the night to tell you there was a great old noir movie on Turner Classic Movies.”

Ponsoldt noted that Paxton was an actor who “I was excited to make more films with. I was excited for him to make more films as an actor and a director.”

While Paxton has a small part in “The Circle,” the film’s leads Tom Hanks and Emma Watson also attended the premiere, bombarded with flashbulbs and adoring fans. The premiere was inherently celebratory, but it also took place on the same day that director Jonathan Demme — who directed Hanks to his first acting Oscar in “Philadelphia” — was announced dead. Hanks had released a statement earlier that day, remembering the director as “the grandest of men.”

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