“He was always talking about Vermont," says Hollander, who worked with the late actor on 'Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans'
“He gave us all stuff from Vermont near where he lived,” Hollander, 56, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “He was always talking about Vermont and how much he loved flying. And I still have the Vermont pancake mix that he brought down, which was the finest pancake mix. We've still got it in the cupboard, the half it that we haven't eaten.”
Now, the British actor always thinks of Williams, who died in a motorcycle accident in June at age 71, when he sees anything related to Vermont. “I saw some Vermont butter three days ago in a grocery store, and I immediately thought of Treat because he loved Vermont,” Hollander says. “He loved where he lived.”
Williams grew up skiing in Vermont and eventually bought a home in Manchester, Vermont after finding professional success.
“I bought the house that we’re in 35 years ago,” Williams told Vermont Magazine in 2021. “I’ve always had an enormous love for Vermont, both in winter and summer. There was something incredibly special about it to me, and the people here are incredibly honest, real, and good-humored. There’s also always something new to discover somewhere on a dirt road that you’ve never traveled on before.”
The Emmy-nominated actor said he felt “so grateful” every day that he woke up in Vermont. “I think very few people are lucky as I am to say, ‘I love where I live,’” he said. “I don’t have any fantasies of being somewhere else. I have everything I want and need in Vermont. I’ve been all over the world, and I’ve never seen a place as beautiful as Vermont.”
“And then for him to die in this ridiculous, stupid, pointless accident a matter of weeks after we'd wrapped seemed just so cruel and unfair,” Hollander continues to PEOPLE. “He absolutely loved playing Bill Paley, and it was brilliant.”
The accident shocked the entire Feud cast.
“It's very, very tragic and it's quite difficult for us to talk about because he was right there just now,” Hollander says. “We haven't really mourned him. We were just getting to know him. He was a very, very sweet spirit. He was the most positive up, glass-half-full enthusiast.”
The show’s director Gus Van Sant found Williams to be a “really a fun person to talk to.”
“He was often telling a long story to somebody on the set to the point where the first AD had to quiet him down,” Van Sant, 71, tells PEOPLE. “It was really tragic to have him leave us.”
Naomi Watts, who stars as Bill’s wife Babe and executive produced the series, praised Williams’s performance, telling PEOPLE she thought he “gave it his absolute all.”
“I think it was a lot to do with being at this point in his life where he was just so grateful,” Watts, 55, tells PEOPLE. “We're all completely heartbroken by it and devastated that he's not going to see his wonderful, wonderful work up there.”
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Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
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