“Twister ”Director Reflects on Working with Late Bill Paxton and Philip Seymour Hoffman: They Were 'Shapeshifters'

The director said the pair of actors helped make the cast and crew of the film "feel as if they had worked together for a really long time”

<p>David Livingston/Getty; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic</p> Bill Paxton, Philip Seymour Hoffman

David Livingston/Getty; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Bill Paxton, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Director Jan de Bont has nothing but praise for the late Bill Paxton and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who both starred in his 1996 blockbuster Twister.

Ahead of the premiere of its long-awaited sequel Twisters, de Bont shared some insight into the original film, including the energy that its stars Paxton and Seymour Hoffman — who died in 2017 and 2014, respectively — brought to the set.

“Those two were basically the shapeshifters of that group, and they helped make a group of really amazing people feel as if they had worked together for a really long time,” de Bont told The Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s unique to get that feeling on the screen,” he added.

Related: Glen Powell Says New Twister Is 'Not a Reboot': 'We're Not Trying to Recreate the Story from the First One'

In Twister, Paxton played Bill Harding, a storm chaser who with his wife, played by Helen Hunt, seek out tornadoes while trying to create an advanced weather alert system. Seymour Hoffman played Dustin Davis, one of the storm chasers on their rag tag crew.

The Speed director told THR that the Twister cast eventually “became such a team,” similar to their character counterparts in the movie. He said that he had “hoped” they would be “relaxed” around each other, and have a “quick-witted banter with each other” offscreen, which “did happen” thanks in part to Seymour Hoffman.

“Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was really laid back, was one of the people who contributed the most for that to happen,” de Bont shared. “He was so completely ready to make a character for himself in the movie.”

<p>Snap/Shutterstock</p> Twister



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“In the script, he was in a lot of pages, but there were very few scenes with him on his own or with somebody else. So he created a character almost from day one, and everybody was surprised by that,” he recalled. “What was also amazing was how witty he was. He could create such a light tone and humor that it would relax all the other team members.”

He also noted that Paxton was also a “high-energy individual,” who was always ready to get his cast members involved in one thing or another during the filming process.

Related: Cary Elwes Remembers Late 'Twister' Costar Bill Paxton as Film Turns 25: His 'Energy Was Infectious'

“… [Paxton] loved stepping in the middle of an action scene,” de Bont said. “He loved really dangerous things. He loved getting other people involved as a group.”

“So, slowly but surely, they all came together, and that was so nice to see happen,” he added.

Audiences will soon be able to watch their efforts onscreen as the film becomes available on 4K Ultra HD for the very first time on July 9. Fans are also gearing up to see its sequel film Twisters, starring Glen Powell, Anthony Ramos and Daisy Edgar-Jones as a new set of storm chasers.

Brandon Perea, Daryl McCormack, Maura Tierney, Kiernan Shipka, Sasha Lane, Superman star David Corenswet, Katy O'Brian, Nik Dodani, TV on the Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe and Harry Hadden-Paton also star in the  sequel helmed by Oscar-nominated director Lee Isaac Chung.

Twisters hits theaters on July 19.

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