Rico Torres
EW Staff
August 20, 2012 AT 07:55 PM EDT

Tony Scott’s sudden death from an apparent suicide shocked Hollywood. The prolific director worked with many stars, who remembered him fondly from their time together. Here are some of their thoughts:

John Travolta, The Talking of Pelham 1 2 3:

“Tony was one of my favorite directors I’ve ever worked with and was one of my favorite people, a truly inspired talent. Everyone loved Tony.”

Tom Cruise, Top Gun:

“Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him. He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable. My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Kevin Costner, Revenge:

“Tony was one of the good guys. He was a man’s man who lived life as hard and as full as anyone I’ve ever met, but there was always a sweetness to his toughness. He was truly in love with his profession, and he is already missed.”

Keira Knightley, Domino:

“Tony Scott was one of the most extraordinary, imaginative men I ever worked with. It was a privilege to have spent the time I did with him. He was a fire cracker and one of the world’s true originals. My thoughts go to his family.”

Val Kilmer, Top Gun:

“Tony was the kindest most generous director I have ever worked for. His bold signature cinema-graphic style perhaps overshadows what he did for the actor. But the lucky ones who served him will all call him friend. I really love him. One of the greats is gone.”

David Bowie, The Hunger:

“It’s extremely sad.”

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife:

“I was so deeply saddened to hear the news today of Tony Scott’s death. I have had the pleasure of working with him for the past 4 years on The Good Wife and I couldn’t have asked for a  more wonderful producer. His kindness, intelligence and talent inspired all of us. We will miss him every day. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Susan Sarandon, The Hunger:

“I am saddened by the death of Tony Scott. It was my privilege to work with him on his first movie and he personified grace under fire. He was wonderful filmmaker and a funny, sweet guy. My condolences to his family.”

Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife:

It’s very difficult to express the depth of our shock and sadness over Tony’s death. We’re at a loss. His work has always inspired us and our thoughts are with his family.”

Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop II:

“My deepest sympathies go out to Tony’s family. He was a great director and wonderful collaborator. He will be deeply missed.”

Rob Morrow, Numb3rs:

“I’ve been in love with the way Tony Scott made movies since I first starting studying them in the ’80s. Even the ones that didn’t appeal to me content wise, always grabbed me visually, cinematically. His involvement, as well as Ridley’s, was a big incentive for me signing on to do Numb3rs. From the get go, I started haranguing both the brothers to direct for the show. They always had a myriad of seemingly legitimate excuses why they couldn’t fit it in their (insane) schedules. After 4 seasons, Tony finally relented and directed the first episode of the season. Working with him will always be a high point of my career. I rarely have directors pushing me to do more, go further. He was always one step a head — an indefatigable cheerleader that literally bounced up and down between takes. His enthusiasm for film making was contagious. He didn’t seem so much interested in the details of the story as he was in the audiences viscerally response (pleasure), so he rubbed some of the day to day writers/producers the wrong way. Unlike in the movies, TV directors tend to take the lead from the producers/writers. Tony didn’t take the lead from anyone. But what a blast to follow him. We were always told by our tech advisors that with automatic weapons one should not ‘spray’ the bullets, but shoot each round with precision. Before a take, Tony would get me so amped up that I would spew all the rounds (blanks) out of my gun in seconds, then see him nearby, jumping up and down, screaming “keep shooting”, the prop guys would run over and reload and I would spray those rounds. Meanwhile, the cameras were still rolling and we were burning film at a rate rarely seen in episodic TV. Tony shot so much arial footage with helicopters (not [a] TV norm either) that we had stock footage for the rest of the run of the show and then some. In years to come, I’m sure I’ll be watching some cop show with a chase sequence on water and wondering why it looks so familiar. Tony had a way of shooting that on paper may not appear cost effective, but he delivered so much bang for that buck that I would’ve bet on him any day of the week. His standard mode of shooting was 3 cameras with long lenses far away from the actors. This is great, because no one ever knows when their close up is coming, so there is no self-consciousness. The actors are free to just play. He only “tail-slated” (the clapper that sets the time code and gives editors key info), again, not cost effective, but there was never the artificial start of the scene that can come with the clap of the slate. In what I can only assume is somewhat unprecedented, he ended up doubling the budget of the episode. Movies go over budget, episodic television never goes over budget. Never. This did not bode well with our producers, but Tony was their boss, so what could they do. Surprisingly, the nework/studio didn’t turn around and say, “oh, it’s Tony Scott, don’t sweat it”. They took the money out of every subsequent episode, so all the other directors (myself included) were squeezed when they asked for certain “toys” for their episode, i.e. cranes, special efx, expensive guest stars, etc. But I will always wear that as a badge of pride. My budget was cut so, Tony could fly free, do what he does, make magic. If in fact, his suicide was to avoid wasting away from illness, I might call it courageous, because there was nothing cowardly about Tony Scott.”

Josh Rottenberg, Solvej Schou, Grady Smith, Nolan Feeney, Andrew Santana, Erin Strecker and Mandi Bierly contributed to this report.


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