Watch the trailer for Parts Unknown: Under the Tarp, airing Sunday on CNN.
The show Parts Unknown: Under the Tarp, which will air on Sunday night, is filled with behind-the-scenes clips peppered with stories and memories shared by the crew—many of whom worked with Bourdain for years and called him a close friend.
Morgan Fallon, director and cinematographer, tells PEOPLE he thinks Bourdain “would’ve loved the special. I think he would’ve felt that it was very true to who we all were.”
“I want more than anything for people to understand that Tony had the ability to be very playful and fun and that what you’re seeing is a family joking and being self-referential and self-deprecating,” he says. “It’s also very heartfelt for me to watch it because that’s how I feel about our experience. We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and, you know, we all really loved each other.”
As the staff coped with the news of Bourdain’s death by suicide in June, Fallon says there were a lot of tears, and a bit of drinking. “When it all happened, we got together,” he says. “We had an Irish wake and I think that was very true to all of our natures.”
A representative for Bourdain’s wife Ottavia Busia told the New York Times in June that there would be no public memorial following his passing. Instead, in the day following his death fans used Bourdain’s Les Halles restaurant, his former place of work, as a place to remember him by placing photos, flowers, handwritten notes, and copies of his best-selling book Kitchen Confidential.
Now, nearly five months since his death, the Parts Unknown crew is honoring him the way they think Bourdain would have wanted: through their work. “We’re all at a point now where we understand that we must go forward,” says Fallon. “We all very clearly understand that Tony would not have wanted us to get drowned in sentiment.”
“He was not someone who was caught up in his image or his celebrity or his brand. He was someone that was really about pointing our power of television, of story making, out into the world.”
Parts Unknown: Under the Tarp airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).