McGroryMatthew McGrory, who played Karl the Giant in Big Fish, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 32.

While his character in the film was about eleven feet tall, in real life, Matthew was “only” a bit over seven feet. While he was big, you didn’t really sense he was a giant until you shook his hand. Then you felt like a child trying to greet an adult.

I got to know Matthew a bit while we were filming in Alabama. He was quiet but funny, muttering asides in that incredibly deep voice that sounded computer-generated. He travelled everywhere with his own chair — he was too big to fit in regular ones — but in every other way was a normal member of a sizable cast.

Meeting Matthew, you definitely got the sense that being his size was a strain on his health, and in fact, his death is listed as natural causes. My condolences to his family and many friends.