Kevin Spacey has spoken of his sadness following the death of George Hickenlooper, praising the director as "one of a kind" and a "joy to be around".
The actor has paid tribute to the moviemaker after he passed away on Friday (29Oct10) at the age of 47. Hickenlooper's final film, Casino Jack, stars Spacey as U.S. lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The grieving actor insists he is shocked by the tragedy - because he was due to see Hickenlooper in a matter of days to begin promoting the movie.
In a statement released to Deadline.com, Spacey says, "It is with great sadness that I have to even think about writing about George in this way, when I was looking forward to seeing him next week in Los Angeles. We have been due to take our film on the road toward its release in December.
"I can't believe he's gone because George was so alive, bubbling with energy, drive, commitment, an open heart and a brilliant sense of humour. He was one of a kind... He was a joy to be around. His sensibility and outlook served his everyday."
And Spacey admits he will miss Hickenlooper "with enormous admiration and affection".
He adds: "I'm shocked and can't really get it around my head that I won't be spending the next three months in his company. That Casino Jack turns out to be his last, the pride I feel in it - in his direction, his ideas and the final results - has soared."