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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ director Jean-Marc Vallee dies at 58

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 received multiple Oscar nominations, has died. He was 58 years old.

His spokesman, Bumble Ward, said Sunday that Vallee died suddenly in his cabin outside of Quebec, Canada over the weekend.

Valle has been recognized for his naturalistic approach to filmmaking, and over the past decade he has directed the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

In 2009, he directed Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria and became popular in Hollywood after Dallas Buyers Club, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

He often shot with natural light and handheld cameras and gave the actors the freedom to improvise the script and move around the scene. A film crew roamed up and down the Pacific Coast trail to film Witherspoon in 2014’s Wild.

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“They can go anywhere,” the Canadian director said of his actors in an interview with The Associated Press in 2014. “It gives a lot of importance to the storytelling, the emotions, the characters. I try not to interfere too much. I don’t need to cut performances. Often the operator and I would say, “This location sucks. It’s not very pleasant. But hey, that’s life.”

He teamed up with Witherspoon again to direct the first season of Big Little Lies in 2017 and also directed Adams in 2018’s Sharp Objects, also for HBO. Valle received DGA awards for both.

AP Film writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report.

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