Stewart on Gandolfini: The Memories 'Gutted Me'

Samuel Goldwyn Films

Kristen Stewart starred with the late James Gandolfini in the 2010 indie drama Welcome to the Rileys, and has now broken her silence on the sudden passing of her co-star on June 19.

"When I heard of James' passing I was in New Orleans, where we met shooting, and every memory flooded back and gutted me," she tells Entertainment Weekly in a statement. "I'll hold that time near to me forever. He was immeasurably great. My heart goes out to his beloved family."

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The unlikely pair got close throughout filming as necessitated by their intense roles -- Stewart played a fragile 16-year-old stripper/teenage prostitute, while Gandolfini played a protective figure who lost his own child but is trying to save her instead.

Gandolfini was clearly fond of Stewart, praising her in a Variety review he wrote of her 2012 film On the Road.

"As soon as she steps into the movie On the Road, you can't take your eyes off her. As Marylou, whenever she fixes her gaze, you see someone who will go as far as she can, and do it as mad as she can, to live and feel alive. And it is sexy and scary and reckless and smart," he wrote of the Twilight star. "She can play all of these things. She has them at her fingertips. She is just beginning. She is fearless. And that can be that good, and that can be very bad. But she is smart enough to handle it. Stick around my friends, and there will be much, much more to come. Thinking about it, I am smiling already."

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Check out the two in the trailer for Welcome to the Rileys below.