John Malkovich Reacts to His 'Close' Friend Julian Sands' Disappearance: 'Very Sad Event'

Julian Sands was reported missing Jan. 13 after he set out to hike Mount Baldy in Southern California

Actor Julian Sands (L) and director John Malkovich attend the premiere of "A Postcard From Istanbul" directed by John Malkovich in collaboration with St. Regis Hotels & Resorts at 5 Hertford Street on March 3, 2015 in London, England.
Photo: David M. Benett/Getty

John Malkovich is speaking up about the disappearance of his Seneca - On the Creation of Earthquakes costar and friend Julian Sands.

During a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday, Malkovich, 69, explained that he and Sands, 65, "were very, very close" after knowing each other for nearly three decades, per Deadline.

"I'm a godfather to his first son from his first marriage to Sarah, who I know very well," the actor explained to reporters, while discussing their new film. "I introduced him to his second wife, and we have been close since we met in 1993 on the set of The Killing Fields."

"It's a very sad event," Malkovich said of Sands' disappearance, according to the outlet.

Sands was reported missing on Jan. 13 by his wife Eugenia Citkowitz after he set out to hike Southern California's Mount Baldy. Searches for the actor's whereabouts remain ongoing more than one month after he went missing.

THE KILLING FIELDS, Julian Sands, John Malkovich, 1984.
Warner Brothers/Courtesy Everett Collection

On Feb. 10, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department public information officer Gloria Huerta told PEOPLE that "we remain hopeful but know the outcome may not be what we would like" regarding ongoing searches for the actor.

"Conditions on Mt. Baldy remain a danger and our Aviation Division still patrols the area when they are available," Huerta said. "We also plan to search the area by ground in the future."

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"We are in contact with the family, and although they are grateful for the support they have received, they have no further statement for the public at this time," she added at the time.

Crews continued their search for the Leaving Las Vegas star the weekend after he was reported missing using helicopters, drones and infrared devices, but were unable to locate the missing actor, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said at the time.

Officials had also previously attempted to retrace Sands' steps and ping his cell phone in hopes of locating the English actor.

RELATED VIDEO: Actor Julian Sands Missing After Going Hiking on Deadly Mount Baldy in California

In a Twitter post shared on Jan. 23, the sheriff's department confirmed that the search for the missing Sands was continuing, adding that the department would "continue to utilize the resources" it has at its disposal.

Along with the department's update, it shared a statement from the family of Sands, who extended their gratitude to the "heroic search teams" who continued to aid in the search for the missing actor.

Malkovich and Sands' new film Seneca - On the Creation of Earthquakes follows the breakdown of a friendship between ancient Roman philosopher Seneca (Malkovich) and Emperor Nero after the emperor falsely accuses Seneca of plotting his assassination, per Deadline. It is unclear what role Sands plays in the film.

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