Black Bird cast and crew pays tribute to Ray Liotta at Apple TV+ premiere

063022 La Premiere Event Black Bird Big Image
063022 La Premiere Event Black Bird Big Image (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple hosted the premiere of its new crime drama Black Bird this week.
  • Stars including Taron Egerton were in attendance in LA.
  • They took the opportunity to pay tribute to their late co-star Ray Liotta.

Apple held the premiere for its hotly-anticipated new crime drama Black Bird in LA this week, with both cast and crew taking the opportunity to honor their late co-star Ray Liotta.

On Wednesday, stars of the upcoming Apple TV+ show were in attendance at the Bruin Theater in Los Angeles, including cast members Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Greg Kinnear, Sepideh Moafi, and showrunner Dennis Lehane.

The exciting new show is due to debut on Apple TV+ next week and is inspired by actual events. From Apple:

...when high school football hero and decorated policeman's son Jimmy Keene (Egerton) is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison, he is given the choice of a lifetime — enter maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Walter Hauser), or stay where he is and serve his full sentence with no possibility of parole. Keene quickly realizes his only way out is to elicit a confession and find out where the bodies of several young girls are buried before Hall's appeal goes through.

The show is also poignant because it will be one of the last screen appearances of the late Ray Liotta, who tragically died in May, less than two months before the show was due to air. Both cast and crew paid tribute to Liotta at the premiere.

"He's a magnificent actor and a magnificent person," said Greg Kinnear in comments made to Variety. "He was a great guy. Listen, I would say he was great no matter what — I mean he could've read the phone book in this thing and I would say he's great — but I genuinely think he's extraordinary in this in a way that is going to knock people out."

Writer Dennis Lehane said that Liotta "meant everything to us," and that the part was written for Liotta, who was "as good as advertised" and a "complete, consummate professional."

In an interview on The Jess Cagle Show earlier this week, Egerton shared the touching text message he had received from Liotta before he died. From HuffPost:

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.'"

Black Bird debuts on Apple TV+ on July 8, and can be watched on all of Apple's best iPhones, iPads, Macs, and the Best TVs for Apple TV 2022.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9