George Clooney And More Pay Tribute To The Full Monty Actor Tom Wilkinson After His Death

The recent loss of Tom Wilkinson is still felt throughout the world today. An actor in films such as Batman Begins and The Full Monty, Wilkinson’s sudden passing has naturally inspired many fans, friends, and co-stars to share their best tributes to the man’s legacy. With George Clooney, Scott Derrickson, and others doing just that, the rich tapestry of this acting powerhouse’s life has become all the richer, even in this bittersweet period of remembrance.

Mr. Clooney’s thoughts, provided in a statement reported by THR, are a good place to start. With the Michael Clayton star recalling his magnetic scene partner, in a project that actually saw Tom Wilkinson nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2008, George’s memory of Tom boiled down thusly: 

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Tom made every project better, made every actor better. He was the epitome of elegance, and he will be dearly missed by all of us.

Of course, with the passing of someone as well known as Tom Wilkinson, there are bound to be a bunch of fantastic stories from the many sets he graced. The Exorcism of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson’s Twitter reflected one such tale, in which Scott took the time to show off the humor that Wilkinson had when it came to his co-workers: 

Goodbye Tom Wilkinson, an amazing talent and wonderful human being. Very proud to have worked with him on The Exorcism of Emily Rose. My favorite Tom Wilkinson memory… When we wrapped The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I went to him to say goodbye. As I went in for a hug, he turned sideways and put one arm around my shoulder. I said, “Well that’s a British hug if I’ve ever had one…” He frowned at me, then grabbed my face and kissed me right on the lips for a good five seconds, then declared loudly, “Don’t ever insult British affection or sense of romance! We invented the stuff!”

It’s not only acting talent that have taken the time to remember Tom, whose last on-screen role came in The Full Monty legacy-quel series that debuted on the 2023 TV schedule. Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson went to Twitter upon hearing the news, and made the following statement:

So sad that Tom Wilkinson has died. Such a great actor, and a lovely man. Love to Diana and family.

To close us out, we’d like to share two stories that come from the same project: the 2016 drama Denial. A movie about a famous libel case involving accusations of Holocaust denial, Slow Horses star Jack Lowden was a part of a cast that included Tom Wilkinson, Rachel Weisz, and Timothy Spall. Recalling a particularly intense scene, as well as some well earned downtime, Lowden took to Instagram to share the following:

I did a small part in [Denial] with Tom back in the day. Back then I smoked, and during breaks of filming Tom would walk past me and say ‘Jock, wanna cig?’ We would go outside. He would talk to me staring out into the middle distance, never turning to look at me, much like when driving a car gives people permission to somehow be more open as the eyes are required somewhere more important. During this film I was auditioning my tits off for parts, and in one of these cig breaks I asked Tom ‘when’s the last time you auditioned?’ He took a long drag on his cig and said into the view ‘the 70s’. I said ‘Amazing!’ And he replied ‘Yeah….i’ve been very good for a long time now’. 👌Another day, he did the 1st take of a near 10 page speech in this film, sat down and waited for his next cig break. Then the assistant director came over and said ‘Great Tom, we’re gonna do that again’. To which Tom said ‘No we’re not, because that was perfect’. A gifted, beautiful, soulful actor of a forgotten precision, skill and outrageous but justified belief that we are losing. A titan. RIP Tom.
Ps, he didn’t do that speech again. Because he was right. It was perfect first time.

A similarly charming story from the set of Denial came from actor/writer Mark Gatiss, via Twitter. Recalling a moment of bonding involving the magic of movies, the Doctor Who and Sherlock alum provided this final anecdote: 

Immensely privileged to have worked with Tom Wilkinson on ‘Denial’. A fantastically intelligent, gloriously grumpy presence. Once, on the tarmac at Krakow airport he turned and quoted a film at length to me. ‘The Wild Bunch’ I replied. He smiled. And I knew I was ok with him. RIP

“Gloriously grumpy” feels like the perfect description of the man that was Tom Wilkinson. In his work and his life, that playful energy was something that shined brightly, inspiring stories like the ones you’ve read above. That right there is the ultimate testament to the legacy Tom left behind, along with the many captivating performances he gave throughout his career. At the time of this writing, Denial is available to stream through a Max subscription, should you want to commemorate Tom Wilkinson by viewing one of his many triumphs.


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