Since the news of Michael Clarke Duncan's death, Hollywood has been mourning the loss of an Oscar-nominated star, but actor Bruce Willis and director Michael Bay—who both worked with Duncan in Armageddon—are devastated over the loss of a wonderful friend.
"Michael Duncan was a great actor, a great human being, and he was my very dear friend. I will miss Big Mike in a Big Way," Willis tells E! News.
Willis and Duncan first acted together in Armageddon back in 1998. Michael credited the A-lister for recommending him to Green Mile director Frank Darabont. He was later nominated for an Academy Award for his heartfelt and groundbreaking performance.
The close friends went on to participate in three other films together including Sin City, Breakfast of Champions and The Whole Nine Yards.
Willis isn't the only Armaggeddon star with a heavy heart following the gentle giant's death. Michael Bay—who gave Duncan his first big-screen role—also took to his website to express how he is "bummed at losing such a great guy."
"I gave him his first big movie role in Armageddon as Bear. We found him in a gym. He cried at the first audition because he was so proud to audition for a 'Michael [Bay] and Jerry [Bruckheimer] movie', he just wanted to make his mom proud. We gave him the role in the room," Bay recalls.
"His first day on Armageddon he sucked. I remember looking to Ben Affleck and thinking we might need to fire him," he writes while adding that Michael's efforts led him to be the "most improved actor on set."
And not only did Michael work hard to cement his place in Hollywood, but he never lost his kind heart on the way to super stardom:
"Everyone loved him, his infectious spirit and great belly laugh," Bay writes. "I'm really sad to lose him. Rest in peace buddy."
Talk about a standup guy who will undoubtedly be missed.