"He reminded you that you couldn't take life seriously," Cary Elwes said of Bill Paxton, who died in February 2017

Cary Elwes, Bill Paxton
Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic; Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Cary Elwes is reflecting on working with the late Bill Paxton.

The stars collaborated together on 1996's Twister, which also starred Helen Hunt, Jami Gertz and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Paxton, who played Bill Harding in the film, died of a stroke at age 61 on Feb. 25, 2017. A family representative said at the time that Paxton died "due to complications from surgery."

"Bill really was that guy whose energy was infectious," Elwes, 59, told The Hollywood Reporter. "He reminded you that you couldn't take life seriously. That was Bill's whole ethic. He took his work seriously, but he didn't take himself very seriously."

Looking back on Twister 25 years after its release, the actor added, "It was a long shoot; a very intricate and complex shoot because it involved a lot of special effects. I had a good time working on it."

After news of Paxton's death in 2017, Elwes told PEOPLE he counted Paxton as "a dear friend for a long time."

"He was a beautiful soul with a very infectious sense of humor," he said at the time. "He had that twinkle in his eye like he knew that we were all on this amazing ride called life and we better strap ourselves in and enjoy it."

"[He was] a man who had obviously been brought up with not just common courtesy but important values and was very forthright in calling out injustice wherever he saw it," Elwes added. "He also had a very generous spirit."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Elwes also recalled Paxton's graciousness when he and his wife Lisa Marie moved to Oklahoma for the Twister shoot, telling PEOPLE, "He immediately wanted to act as our tour guide. It began by buying us cowboy hats and taking us to authentic Oklahoman diners off the beaten track."

"He was a delightful and talented human being who was such a life-force that his departure has left a void in the lives of those who got to know and love him," he said.