Dallas Buyers Club and Big Little Lies director dies suddenly at 58

Entertainment

Director and producer Jean-Marc Vallée, who won an Emmy for directing the HBO series Big Little Lies and whose 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club earned several Oscar nominations, has died aged 58.

Vallée died suddenly in his cabin outside Quebec City, Canada, over the weekend, his representative Bumble Ward said.

The director was acclaimed for his realistic approach to filmmaking and working with people including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, left, and director Jean-Marc Vall..e attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and InStyle party at the Windsor Arms Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
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Vallée worked with Jake Gyllenhaal on Demolition in 2015. Pic AP

In 2009, he directed The Young Victoria with Emily Blunt but became a sought-after name in Hollywood for Dallas Buyers Club, featuring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.

Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey. Pic Shutter Stock
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Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club, featuring Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey, was nominated for six Oscars. Pic Shutterstock

The film is about a rodeo cowboy who is diagnosed with AIDs and discovers a banned drug that can help patients survive longer.

Reese Witherspoon as Madeline Martha Mackenzie in Big Little Lies. Pic Shutterstock
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Reese Witherspoon starred as Madeline Martha Mackenzie in Big Little Lies, which won an Emmy. Pic Shutterstock

It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.

He often shot with natural light and hand-held cameras, giving actors freedom to improvise the script and move around within a scene’s location.

“They can move anywhere they want,” the Canadian filmmaker said of his actors in a 2014 interview.

“It’s giving the importance to storytelling, emotion, characters. I try not to interfere too much.”

He worked with Witherspoon to direct the first season of Big Little Lies in 2017 and directed Adams in 2018’s Sharp Objects.

Vallée won the Directors Guild of America Awards for both.

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