Actor Buddy Duress Dead At 38


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Actor Buddy Duress, who appeared alongside Robert Pattinson in the 2017 film 'Good Time,' died at the age of 38.

Duress, born Michael C. Stathis, died in November 2023 of "cardiac arrest from a drug cocktail," his brother, Christopher Stathis, revealed to PEOPLE exclusively on Tuesday (February 27).

Duress began his acting career appearing in Josh Safdie's 2014 film 'Heaven Knows What.' The Queens native revealed that he initially met Safdie while on the run after skipping out on a drug in-patient program after his release from Rikers Island for drug charges in a 2017 interview with SSense.

Durress said he was introduced to Safdie through a mutual friend and landed the 'Heaven Knows What' role, but was eventually caught by police and taken back to Rikers Island after the completion of the film and remained in prison when it premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2014.

"You know, I still look back at it. If I had went to that program, I wouldn’t have been in Heaven Knows What, and I probably wouldn’t be an actor right now. That’s the honest truth. I wouldn’t," Duress told SSense.

Duress was urged by filmmakers to write a journal about his time in prison, which was later adapted into the 'Good Time' script, which he starred in opposite Pattinson three years after the release of 'Heaven Knows What.' The actor also had later roles in several feature and short films including '86'd,' 'The Mountain' and 'The Great Darkened Days' and had two more unreleased projects, 'Skull' and 'Mass State Lottery.'

Duress was re-arrested and taken back to Rikers in 2019 for multiple incidents including grand larceny, threatening to burn his mother's house down and menacing and criminal possession of brass knuckles and a controlled substance, which included being bailed out by his mother Jo-Anne and director Cameron Van Hoy, according to the New York Post.

"Buddy was pure electricity on screen. Working with him was one of the great adventures of my life. He was a kind person who loved making films. Despite any troubles he was going through in life he somehow managed to put them aside when it came time to work. We grew quite close after the production of our film Flinch. I’m heartbroken that his life came to an end as it did,” Van Hoy told PEOPLE.

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