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Director and producer Jean-Marc Vallee dies at 58

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Emmy-winning director and producer Jean-Marc Vallee for directing HBO’s hit series “Big Little Lies” and whose 2013 drama “Dallas Buyers Club” garnered multiple Academy Award nominations has died. At the age of 58 years.

His representative Bumble Ward reported Sunday that Vale died suddenly in his cabin on the outskirts of Quebec City, Canada, over the weekend.

Vallée has been praised for his natural approach to cinema, having directed stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal over the past decade.

He directed Emily Blunt in “The Young Victoria” in 2009 and became a household name in Hollywood after “Dallas Buyers Club” starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

It was often filmed with natural light and handheld cameras, giving actors the freedom to improvise the scenario and move within the scene location. The team traveled the US Pacific Coast Passage to shoot Witherspoon in “Wild” in 2014.

“They can move anywhere they want,” the Canadian director commented on his cast in a 2014 interview with The Associated Press. “It gives importance to the way the story is told, to the emotion and the characters. I try not to get too involved. I don’t need to cut shows. Often times, the cinematographer and I think ‘this site is bad.'” It’s not very beautiful. But, this is life.

He returned to Witherspoon to direct the first season of “Big Little Lies” in 2017, and Adams directed in 2018 “Sharp Objects,” also on HBO. Vallée won DGA Awards for both series.

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Associated Press reporter Jake Coyle contributed to this report.

FILE – Jean-Marc Vallee arrives at an event in Los Angeles on October 30, 2015 (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press, FILE)