Taron Egerton Shares Heartfelt Text From Ray Liotta Before 'Goodfellas' Actor's Death

Liotta and Egerton portray a beleaguered father and son in the AppleTV+ true crime series "Black Bird," due out July 8.
Taron Egerton stars in the AppleTV+ series "Black Bird," due out July 8.
Taron Egerton stars in the AppleTV+ series "Black Bird," due out July 8.

Taron Egerton is hopeful his new series, “Black Bird,” will be viewed as a testament to the many talents of his late costar, Ray Liotta.

Appearing on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” this week, Egerton became visibly emotional when recalling his time working alongside Liotta in what would turn out to be the “Goodfellas” actor’s final television role.

During the chat, Egerton shared a text message exchange he’d had with Liotta after catching an early screening of “Black Bird.”

“When I first saw the show, I texted Ray,” he said. “And we were excited to see one another again. I said: ‘Your performance in the show is beautiful, and I’m really proud of the work we did.’ And all he said was, ‘You made it very easy to love my son.’”

“It was just a profound thing working with Ray, playing these two roles, and a real highlight of the whole experience,” he added.

Watch a clip from Taron Egerton’s interview with Jess Cagle below.

Due out on AppleTV+ on July 8, “Black Bird” is based on the true story of Jimmy Keene (Egerton), a high school football hero convicted of a crime and sentenced to 10 years in jail. While in prison, Jimmy is granted a chance at freedom after striking an unusual deal with the FBI that requires him to befriend a suspected serial killer.

Liotta, who died last month at age 67, portrays James “Big Jim” Keene, Jimmy’s anguished father and a former police officer.

The six-episode series is based on the younger Keene’s 2010 memoir, “In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption.” The show is executive-produced by Dennis Lehane, author of “Mystic River” and “Gone, Baby, Gone.”

Though AppleTV+ executives are no doubt hoping the series’ premise will appeal to legions of true crime fans, Egerton sees the relationship between Jimmy and his dad as the “beating heart” of the story, and believes Liotta’s performance is reflective of that.

“We just connected immediately,” he said. “It was an odd thing, and it was all dictated by him. It was dictated by the way that he handled himself, and the way that he conducted himself as an actor on set.”

Prior to his death, Liotta had completed work on at least two forthcoming movies, “Cocaine Bear” and a comedy formerly titled “El Tonto.” He died in his sleep while on location for the thriller “Dangerous Waters” in the Dominican Republic.


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