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Elizabeth Banks Opens Up About Working With Ray Liotta On His Final Film 'Cocaine Bear'

The 'Goodfellas' actor died suddenly in his sleep last May at age 67.

A split image with Elizabeth Banks in a gold sequined dress on the left and Ray Liotta in a black pea coat on the right
Araya Doheny/FilmMagic; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Deadline

Elizabeth Banks opened up about working with Ray Liotta on what turned out to be his final film before his death—her latest film, the horror comedy Cocaine Bear.

Liotta passed in his sleep last May at the age of 67, but not before completing filming his scenes in Cocaine Bear. Banks said Liotta was not able to see the completed film, but he was able to review his own scenes before his death—including those with the completed CGI bear.

Banks told ET:

"He never saw the final movie, but he did see all of his scenes."

Banks said she was especially excited Liotta was able to see his scenes with the bear in their final form because the methods for filming with CGI can make it quite hard to imagine the final completed scene.

She shared:

"And he saw the bear, which is the most important thing, because the poor guy like everyone had to act with, you know, a guy in a black suit and a stuntman and just sort of hope that it looks cool."

The film's story revolves around the titular bear—a 500-pound black bear who finds a rather large stash of cocaine and goes on a bloody cocaine-induced frenzied killing spree.

The story is loosely based on real events from 1985.

Banks said Liotta was greatly enjoying the filming process right up until the last time she saw him.

"He came in for ADR [Additional Dialog Replacement] eight days before he passed away, actually, and he loved it."
"He was so happy. He was laughing. It was just delightful."

She said she was first drawn to direct the movie because of the script and great characters.

"I loved the script! I’m an actor first. And there were so many great characters in this film."
"There’s so much going on besides the bear."
"And I hope that’s what people take away from it—that they find someone sort of relatable in the movie."

You can view an interview Banks did with Extra below:

Castmates also shared their memories of working with Liotta in various interviews.

Cocaine Bear opens tomorrow, Friday, February 24 in theaters.

You can see the official trailer here: