Jean-Marc Vallée, ‘Big Little Lies’ Director, Dies At 58
Director Jean-Marc Vallée was found dead on Sunday. The award-winning Canadian filmmaker was 58 years old.
Jean-Marc Vallée Cause Of Death
Vallée was in his cabin outside of Quebec City at the time of his passing. He was reportedly found by his friends, who were visiting him at the cabin. His publicist, Bumble Ward, said that Vallée died unexpectedly of a heart attack.
The director was best known for his work on the Oscar-winning film, Dallas Buyers Club, and for the Emmy-winning HBO show, Big Little Lies. His first film was a 1995 thriller called Liste Noire (“Black List”), which was nominated for several Genie Awards, including for best picture. He was catapulted into Hollywood after the success of his 2005 film, C.R.A.Z.Y.
Vallée gravitated toward works that explored the imperfections of human nature. “I see that I seem to be attracted to these stories and to underdog characters,” he said in 2018. “The humanity, the beautiful humanity, is dark.”
Another staple of his filmmaking style is his commitment to naturalism. He eschewed artificial lighting wherever possible, and also often avoided rehearsals.
“We pushed the envelope in order to capture something that feels real and authentic,” he said of the process filming his mini-series, Sharp Objects. “I’m reacting to what they’re [the actors are] doing, instead of being active and telling them, this is what I’ll do with the camera.” He added, “I love it. You know, I’m like a kid on a set, a kid playing with a huge toy and having fun.”
He also gained a reputation for directing works that featured strong female leads. “I’m not afraid of intelligent, strong women,” he said in a 2018 interview. “You got to create a space where they’re going to feel respected and comfortable.”
Activist Peter Staley, who had communicated with Vallée about the director’s work depicting those suffering from HIV and AIDS, spoke of him in his recent book. He said that Vallée “kept the promise he’d once emailed me: that in all his films, he tries to ‘capture humanity and reveal the beauty behind it.'”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the many who mourned Vallée. Trudeau wrote on Twitter, “Jean-Marc Vallée’s passion for filmmaking and storytelling was unmatched—so too was his talent. Through his work and with his art, he left a mark in Quebec, across Canada, and around the world.”
Jean-Marc Vallée’s passion for filmmaking and storytelling was unmatched – so too was his talent. Through his work and with his art, he left a mark in Quebec, across Canada, and around the world. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans as they mourn his sudden passing.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 27, 2021
Vallée is survived by his two sons, Alex and Emile.
In a statement, his producing partner and close friend, Nathan Ross, said in a statement, “It comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”
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