Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee dies aged 58
Director and producer Jean-Marc Vallee, who won an Emmy for directing the hit HBO series Big Little Lies and whose 2013 drama Dallas Buyers Club earned multiple Oscar nominations, has died aged 58.
The filmmaker died suddenly in his cabin outside Quebec City, Canada, over the weekend, his representative Bumble Ward said.
Vallee was acclaimed for his naturalistic approach to filmmaking, directing stars including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal over the past decade.
He directed Emily Blunt in 2009’s The Young Victoria and became a sought-after name in Hollywood after Dallas Buyers Club, featuring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, earned six Academy Award nominations, including best picture.
McConaughey and Leto took home Oscars for best actor and best supporting actor, respectively, for their roles in the movie.
Vallee often shot with natural light and hand-held cameras and gave actors freedom to improvise the script and move around within a scene’s location. His crew roamed up and down the Pacific Coast Trail to shoot Witherspoon in 2014’s Wild.
“They can move anywhere they want,” the Canadian filmmaker said of his actors in a 2014 interview with The Associated Press.
“It’s giving the importance to storytelling, emotion, characters. I try not to interfere too much. I don’t need to cut performances. Often, the cinematographer and I were like: ‘This location sucks. It’s not very nice. But, hey, that’s life.'”
He re-teamed with Witherspoon to direct the first season of Big Little Lies in 2017, and directed Adams in 2018’s Sharp Objects, also for HBO. Vallee won Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards for both.