John Malkovich on ‘closest friend’ Julian Sands’ disappearance: ‘It’s a great loss’

John Malkovich on ‘closest friend’ Julian Sands’ disappearance: ‘It’s a great loss’

The Being John Malkovich star called his friend “a terrific storyteller,” adding, “since the day we met, I could talk to him about anything, and he could talk to me about anything.”

Over the last six weeks, local authorities and search and rescue teams have conducted multiple ground and aerial searches near the Mt. Baldy area of California’s San Bernardino Mountains for the Room With a View actor, but have been unable to locate him.

In an interview with the Guardian, Malkovich described Sands as not only his “closest friend,” but also an “inveterate mountain climber” and hiker who liked to embark on his own solo adventures. “He was always tramping off to Kilimanjaro, or Antartica, or the Andes, or the Alps,” he said, calling Sands “a very experienced climber who’d been through very hairy experiences.”

“I suppose the particular conditions on the ground that day on Mt. Baldy must have led to some sort of catastrophic and immediate error that was irreversible,” Malkovich continued. “That was my instinct upon hearing it. But he knew what the conditions were, and that’s what he loved to do. He found great solace in the solitude of that.”

Julian Sands attends ‘The Painted Bird’ photocall at the 76th Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2019, in Venice, Italy

Julian Sands

| Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Malkovich and Sands’ friendship dates back to 1983, when the pair first met while on the set of the British drama The Killing Fields. Over the years, the friends have remained close and worked on numerous projects together, including the 2014 television series Crossbones, 2021’s The Survivalist, and their upcoming film Seneca – On the Creation of Earthquakes

“I love Jules. He was someone who was very, very clever. I know his ex-wife, Sarah [Sands], terribly well and their son, Henry, is my godson. And I introduced Jules to [his wife] Evgenia, who’s an old, old friend. I know their daughters well. But I unfortunately never got to go up to Yorkshire with him. It’s a great loss.”

He added, “He was such a terrific storyteller, Jules, and so, so funny. Since the day we met, I could talk to him about anything, and he could talk to me about anything.” 

On Tuesday, the San Bernardino county sheriff’s department said in a statement that they still hope to bring “closure” to Sands’ friends and family. Last Sunday, members of the Fontana Sheriff’s Station and West Valley Search and Rescue conducted a ground search in the Mt. Baldy area where California Highway Patrol had previously detected a possible electronic device, but did not find the English actor.

However, Inclement weather has affected their ongoing search efforts. “Aerial searches will continue when the weather permits,” a spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told EW in a statement on Friday. “The weather here in California plays a big role in our aerial and ground searches and we are currently facing big storms, back to back.” 

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