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Director of Bill Paxton's final film pays tribute to late actor

The 61-year-old died last month (Feb17) from complications following surgery.

The director of Bill Paxton's final film has paid tribute to the late actor.

The Aliens star, 61, passed away last month (Feb17) after suffering complications following surgery. Medical officials ruled his death was triggered by an aortic aneurysm, for which he underwent valve replacement surgery on 14 February (17).

He began experiencing health issues related to the operation days later, and passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on 25 February (17), following a stroke.

Now, Nathan Morlando, who directed Paxton in his last movie Mean Dreams, has shared his feelings of disbelief over the loss of a man who he had loved like a big brother.

"It was brutal,” Morlando told People about hearing the news of Paxton's death. "I was filled with disbelief. Bill had just taken me out for a beautiful lunch so our wives could meet, and we were becoming really close. Bill was becoming like a big brother to me and I was very grateful for that. I was really looking forward to our future together as friends and collaborators.

"So it was a lot of crying. We spent days crying actually, reflecting on him and his greatness and generosity.”

Paxton played corrupt cop and abusive dad Wayne Caraway in the film, and Morlando revealed the actor based his character on someone he knew from his teenage years.

"(The role) struck a very deep chord in him - it was like confronting a ghost from his past. It gives me chills just thinking about it,” the director explained. “It was a way of really confronting this time in his life, and this person in his life. It felt like something he needed to do and wanted to do. It was amazing.”

Morlando fondly remembered the last day of shooting, which required Paxton to lie in the mud.

"Now here’s a guy who’s a movie star, lying in the mud, not getting paid for it, and then thanks this crew who worked so hard," he smiled.

"This wasn’t a famous crew either, they were mostly young Northern filmmakers who were committed and inspired by him and he delivered a beautiful tribute while he was still wet with mud. He was just a wonderful human being and artist.”

Mean Dreams is in cinemas now.

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