Sam Mendes has remembered Helen McCrory for her "explosive energy".

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes

The 'Skyfall' director paid tribute to the late actress - who passed away this week after a battle with cancer at the age of 52 - as he praised her as "unpredictable and charismatic".

He said: "She was unpredictable, charismatic and incredibly exciting to watch. The explosive energy she was attempting to harness sometimes led to mistakes."In Twelfth Night, her Olivia summoned the Sister to officiate the wedding with the immortal line 'Bring forth the holy Fister!' It wasn’t just the malapropism, but the imperiousness with which she bellowed the line, that sent the cast into paroxysms of laughter. Helen, meanwhile, stood gloriously uncomprehending in the middle of the chaos."

Sam also celebrated Helen for how much "fun" she had on set.

Writing in The Observer, he shared: "A decade later, when I was directing Skyfall, I needed an actress who could publicly haul Judi Dench’s M over the coals, whilst also making a roomful of other giant personalities and talents cower. Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem - who could impose herself on all of them without a second thought? Of course I thought of Helen, and she didn’t disappoint. On top of which, she was just … fun. It’s an underappreciated trait, but so important in what we do. Helen understood how to take the work seriously, but never yourself ... All death is a tragedy, but some feel especially cruel. As if the intended course of someone’s life has been thrillingly mapped out for all to see, and then turns out to have been written in vanishing ink. So it is with Helen."