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Taron Egerton reveals Ray Liotta was in 'a frail way' when they filmed Black Bird last year


Taron Egerton has revealed the late Ray Liotta was ‘in ailing health’ and ‘a frail way’ while they filmed their upcoming Apple TV+ series Black Bird in Spring 2021.

The actor, 32, branded ‘hero’ Ray ‘one of the greats’ and gushed about how he ‘loved’ working with the Goodfellas star during Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Ray suddenly died in his sleep at a Dominican Republic hotel in May 2022 at the age of 67 where he had been filming a new movie, Dangerous Waters.

Oh no! Taron Egerton has revealed the late Ray Liotta was 'in ailing health' and 'a frail way' while they filmed their upcoming Apple TV+ series Black Bird in Spring 2021

Oh no! Taron Egerton has revealed the late Ray Liotta was ‘in ailing health’ and ‘a frail way’ while they filmed their upcoming Apple TV+ series Black Bird in Spring 2021

Speaking to guest host Chelsea Handler, the Golden Globe winner said: ‘He was something of a hero to me and, when I read this script, it’s got a very touching and really dysfunctional relationship at the heart of it.

‘It’s the relationship between my character and his father and it was so excited when Ray agreed to do it.

‘He read the script and agreed to it in under 24 hours, he was so excited about it and I didn’t know what to expect because his performances are characterised by menace, he’s an intimidating figure in every movie.’

Taron went on to detail how the New Jersey-native walked towards him ‘in a sort of frail way’, and embraced him in a ‘weird’ way.

Tragic: The actor, 32, branded 'hero' Ray 'one of the greats' and gushed about how he 'loved' working with the Goodfellas star during Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live

Tragic: The actor, 32, branded ‘hero’ Ray ‘one of the greats’ and gushed about how he ‘loved’ working with the Goodfellas star during Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live 

He said: ‘I did an Instagram post about this but it’s a story I do like telling, I stepped on set and he was kind of in his own world. He wasn’t really engaged in his environment.

‘Sometimes actors can be… we’re a weird bunch, we do weird stuff so I thought I’d leave him to it, give him his space and across the room he sort of caught my eye and just stood up, walked towards me in a sort of frail way.

‘He’s in ailing health in the show and he just embraced me and we stayed that way for a little while. It was kind of weird but really nice as well.

‘I said, “I’m really glad we’re doing this,” and he said, “Me too.” And he didn’t say anything to me for that first day other than what we said to each other in character.

Dapper: Taron cut a suave figure in a blue suit as he arrived at the Jimmy Kimmel Live studios

Dapper: Taron cut a suave figure in a blue suit as he arrived at the Jimmy Kimmel Live studios

Trendy: He layered the blazer above a white shirt and accessorised with black sunglasses

Trendy: He layered the blazer above a white shirt and accessorised with black sunglasses

‘We had a few weeks of filming together and it was a really amazing experience for me, it just brought this presence, this reality in contrast with the kind of toughness of him.

‘He brought this incredible tenderness and love and I’m really proud of the relationship we built.

‘We had the premiere last night, his daughter and fiancée were there to honour him and we really have lost one of the greats and he’s amazing in the show. I loved loved working with him.’

Candid: The Golden Globe winner said: ' He was something of a hero to me and, when I read this script, it's got a very touching and really dysfunctional relationship at the heart of it'

Candid: The Golden Globe winner said: ‘ He was something of a hero to me and, when I read this script, it’s got a very touching and really dysfunctional relationship at the heart of it’

Reminiscing: Taron went on to detail how the New Jersey-native walked towards him 'in a sort of frail way', and embraced him in a 'weird' way

Reminiscing: Taron went on to detail how the New Jersey-native walked towards him ‘in a sort of frail way’, and embraced him in a ‘weird’ way

Talented: Speaking to guest host Chelsea Handler, he said: 'He read the script and agreed to it in under 24 hours, he was so excited about it'

Talented: Speaking to guest host Chelsea Handler, he said: ‘He read the script and agreed to it in under 24 hours, he was so excited about it’

Just over a month after his surprising passing, Ray’s daughter Karsen Liotta attended the LA premiere of Black Bird on Wednesday, with Jacy Nittolo, who was engaged to Liotta when he passed.

The show, inspired by true events, sees Ray playing a police officer whose imprisoned son (Egerton) is tasked with drawing a confession from a suspected serial killer (Paul Walter Hauser).

Liotta was in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic in late May, filming the movie Dangerous Waters, when he unexpectedly passed away in his sleep.

Sources claimed there was no foul play or nothing else suspicious about the beloved actor’s passing.

After his passing, Karsen shared a number of throwback snaps of the father and daughter throughout the years, along with a heartfelt message.

United: Just over a month after his passing, Ray's daughter Karsen Liotta (left) attended the LA premiere of Black Bird on Wednesday, with Jacy Nittolo (right), who was engaged to Liotta

United: Just over a month after his passing, Ray’s daughter Karsen Liotta (left) attended the LA premiere of Black Bird on Wednesday, with Jacy Nittolo (right), who was engaged to Liotta

‘Those who knew him, loved him. You are the best Dad anyone could ask for. I love you. Thank you for everything,’ she said.

Nitollo, who had been engaged to Liotta since December 2020, also opened up about her time with the actor.

‘My life these past couple of years have been nothing but truly magical. Ray and I share a deep love that I will cherish in my heart forever,’ Nitollo began.

‘We laughed daily and we were inseparable. The chemistry was wild in the best way,’ she continued.

‘He was everything in the world to me and we couldn’t get enough of each other. The kind of real love that one dreams of,’ she added.

Ray’s sudden death shocked fans as he was embarking on a huge resurgence in his career recent years.

As well as Black Bird he also featured in The Many Saints of Newark, Marriage Story and No Sudden Move in more recent years as his acting took off again.

But he was best known for his incredible performance in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas, where he played Henry Hill while De Niro, 78, took on the role of Jimmy Conway.

Icon: He was best known for his incredible performance in Martin Scorsese's 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas, where he played Henry Hill (pictured with Lorraine Bracco)

Icon: He was best known for his incredible performance in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas, where he played Henry Hill (pictured with Lorraine Bracco)

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