In the hours after the death of David Bowie, a huge number of the legend’s friends, fans, and collaborators have paid tribute to his life and art, from Paul McCartney and Madonna to J.K. Rowling and Kanye West. Now, Martin Scorsese, who directed Bowie in The Last Temptation of Christ, has added his voice to the long list of tributes.
“It’s a shock to think that David Bowie is gone,” Scorsese said in a statement to EW. “He was one of those extraordinary artists that come along so rarely. There’s a song on his album Low called ‘Speed of Life,’ and that’s the speed at which he seemed to move — his music and his image and his focus were always changing, always in motion, and with every movement, every change, he left a deep imprint on the culture.”
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Scorsese also reflected on what it was like working with Bowie on his controversial 1988 film about the life of Jesus. Bowie played Pontius Pilate — a role Scorsese originally envisioned for Sting. “I was a little taken aback when I met Bowie: he was such a quiet and concentrated and thoughtful man, and he was truly humble,” Scorsese said. “We had the chance to work together on The Last Temptation of Christ, in which he appeared as Pontius Pilate, and for me it was sheer joy. He was a great artist and he left behind a remarkable body of work.”