Hans Zimmer has been left “devastated” by the death of fellow film composer Ennio Morricone.
The acclaimed Italian musician passed away at the age of 91 on Monday in a hospital in Rome days after he suffered a fall and broke his leg. He scored more than 500 movies throughout his career, including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Mission, and Cinema Paradiso, and won an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 film The Hateful Eight.
Zimmer, who is known for his work on films such as The Lion King, Inception, and Gladiator, gave an interview to BBC Breakfast about Morricone’s death on Monday and admitted he was shocked by the news.
“I’m devastated obviously by this because Ennio was an icon and icons just don’t go away, icons are there forever,” he gushed. “It really has taken me by surprise because he was still touring. I saw him about a year ago and he seemed strong, he was conducting at the O2 (Arena in London)… He was one of a kind. He never stopped speaking Italian. He never bothered to learn English. I was a huge fan of his.”
The German musician went on praise Morricone for inspiring him to pursue a career in composing movie scores.
“He was a major influence on me – the first movie I ever saw was Once Upon a Time in the West and I heard that music and I saw those images and I went ‘That’s what I want to do,'” he shared. “One of the things which was vitally important for him was that the music would always have quality. Sometimes he would work – we all have done this – on not such great movies but his music was always outstanding and done with great emotional fortitude and great intellectual thought.”
Other stars have paid tribute to Morricone on social media, such as Baby Driver director Edgar Wright, who shared a bunch of his scores on Twitter alongside the caption: “Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn’t been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”
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