Ray Stevenson was having a moment. Mere weeks ago, the impressive, talented Irish actor was revealed to be starring as a new character in the upcoming Star Wars show, Ahsoka. This came mere months after RRR, a film in which he plays the despicable villain, was a box office smash and took home an Oscar. The actor was at the top of his game, and the world, but in incredibly sad news, that’s now over. Stevenson died on Sunday at the age of 58. No cause of death has been revealed.
Though Stevenson had been acting since the 1990s, audiences first really got a taste of his talent in the role of Titus Pullo on HBO’s epic series, Rome. He had that kind of energy: big, heroic, boisterous—which he then flipped on its head to play the Punisher in 2008's cult classic, Punisher: War Zone. Stevenson was one of the best Punishers yet, thanks in large part to his incredible, imposing presence.
After that, the Hollywood roles began to pile up: The Book of Eli, The Other Guys, G.I. Joe, Divergent, and, most memorably, as Thor’s buddy Volstagg in the first three Thor movies. He also played Blackbeard in the fan-favorite pirate show Black Sails and voiced Gar Saxon on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The list of credits beyond those goes and on, but in 2022, Stevenson probably had his biggest success to date playing Governor Scott Buxton in RRR, the heinously evil military leader who gets exactly what he deserves from the lead characters. It was a proper, big-time villainous role, which led right into his still-mysterious role in August’s Ahsoka as Baylan Skoll. Here’s a photo.
So we’ll get to see and discuss Stevenson much more this year, which is nice, because at 58, with that talent and career, he was taken from us far too soon.
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