As news of Burt Reynolds’ death circulated on Thursday, Hollywood turned to social media to express their sadness and share fond memories.
Actor James Woods (“Salvador,” “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Casino”) was no different, tweeting out: “I finally got to work with one of my heroes in 2006. #BurtReynolds led a really fun cast in Spokane and we laughed all day, every day he was on the set. A wry humor and a warm heart defined this wonderful man. He will be sorely missed. #RIPBurtReynolds”
Woods was referring to “End Game,” which shot in Spokane in 2005. The film, directed by Andy Cheng, also starred Cuba Gooding Jr., Angie Harmon, Anne Archer and David Selby and is centered on a Secret Service agent (Gooding) who teams up with a news reporter (Harmon) to investigate the assassination of the president. Reynolds portrayed General Montgomery, who may (or may not) be a rogue agent.
Juan Mas, a Spokane filmmaker, served as a line producer on the film, which was co-produced by North by Northwest. Mas remembers Reynolds fondly from his brief time on set.
“It was a hoot to have him here,” Mas said Thursday. “Besides being professional the whole time, he was just fun on the set, making the crew crack up. … Really a gentleman on set.”
Mas recalls Reynolds, who died Thursday at age 82, spending about a week in total in town and being enamored of the scenery. The film shot all over town, including Gonzaga University and the Bozarth Mansion. “I know he went antique shopping, because he kept asking where to go,” Mas said. “We sent him to the Hillyard area, with all the cool antique shops.”
Always a busy actor, “End Game” came during a prolific time in Reynolds’ career. In 2005 he was in both “The Dukes of Hazzard” and the remake of “The Longest Yard. “End Game” was one of five movies released in 2006. With 186 acting credits to his name on the Internet Movie Database, it’s clear he loved the work.
“I feel that his professionalism, when he felt things were getting tense because we were panicking about time, he’d loosen it up with some kind a sarcastic remark,” Mas said. “It made me think a lot of ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’ He was kinda like that character. He’d crack a joke and things would loosen up and everything would be OK.”