Ray Stevenson Said He Had to Be an Actor

His films included 'RRR,' the 'Thor' series
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 7:05 PM CDT
Ray Stevenson Said He Had to Be an Actor
Ray Stevenson participates in a panel in 2016 in Pasadena, California.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Ray Stevenson, a prolific actor whose films included RRR and the Thor series, has died. He was 58 and died in Italy, Variety reports, where he was working. Born in Northern Ireland, Stevenson attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He began working on TV shows in the 1990s before winning action roles in films, starting in the 2000s. He said in 2016 that he had no choice but to become an actor. "I had to face up to the realization and it was an epiphany: that what I thought was a decision to be an actor was false. There was no decision to make. It's a vocation," he said, adding, "I had to accept to throw myself into it with no guarantee but to launch and just go."

His first major role was in 2004's King Arthur. Imposing onscreen, Stevenson appeared in a series of action movies. His resume included Marvel films, such as Punisher: War Zone, and the Thor and Divergent series. On television, he played in Vikings and HBO's award-winning historical drama Rome. Realizations while filming Rome "completely changed" his life, Stevenson said, causing him to live in the moment and focus "on the career I'm having rather than the career I should be having," per the Hollywood Reporter.

His success in Rome also increased demand for him in Hollywood. Stevenson finished several films not yet released, including the Star Wars series Ahsoka. For that, he appeared onstage last month in London at a Star Wars Celebration. "Getting to wield the light saber is just the best feeling in the world," Stevenson said. "The first time they handed it to me for the camera test, I couldn't help myself, I made the noise." (More obituary stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.