It has been a very rough couple of years for celebrity deaths. Back in February, beloved character actor Bill Paxton passed away at the age of 61 due to complications following a heart surgery. Paxton had a massive career, but some of his most beloved and well-known roles came when he worked with director James Cameron. Now, the director has opened up and reflected upon his work and his friendship with the late Bill Paxton.

The director spoke with Yahoo in honor of the upcoming 3D release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which is set to hit theaters on August 25. During the chat, James Cameron spoke quite a bit about his relationship with Bill Paxton and how he was as an artist and lover of art in general. Here's some of what he had to say.

"He was a consummate artist, really. He really, he loved art. And by art I mean, you know, he was a collector of art and he had a deep appreciation for art, culture, literature. He was unique, you know, and he certainly broke the mold. He had a real, it was, he had just a zest for life and for creativity. He was always thinking about the next project and the next project. And he had this amazing ability to just get people to want to do the thing that he wanted to do, the thing that he wanted to make. But when he worked for me as an actor, he also, although he brought so many ideas that enriched the film around his character, he also was there to do his character. He wasn't there to try and direct my movie, you know."

Bill Paxton first worked with James Cameron on The Terminator. His role wasn't big, but Paxton played one of the punks that Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 encounters early on in the movie. He also starred as Simon in the very underrated True Lies and Brock Lovett in the Oscar-winning Titanic, which remains the second highest-grossing movie of all-time. It is probably his work as Private Hudson in Aliens, which spawned the now very famous "Game over, man" line that will be his most well-remembered work with Cameron. However, as the director reveals in the interview, they became friends before they ever worked together in an official capacity.

"And we were just, we became fast friends in 1981, I think, when we were both working for Roger Corman. And you know, we were friends until the, I don't want to say the day he died, but the night before he went in for surgery that went wrong, I talked to him that night, you know. So yeah, he's just a dear, dear friend and a great artist."

The friendship between Bill Paxton and James Cameron lasted for nearly four decades and extended far beyond their professional relationship. But their professional relationship was incredibly special and gave movie lovers some truly memorable moments and characters that are going to live on for a very long time. It is clear that Cameron has a lot of love and respect for his late friend and an actor that many of us adored.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott