As celebrities prepare for the Biggest Night in Hollywood, a movie producer pays tribute to the star of his Oscar-nominated film.
Erik Hemmendorff, the producer of Triangle of Sadness, remembered South African model-turned-actress Charlbi Dean as a ‘one-of-a-kind’ performer as she prepared to attend the Los Angeles ceremony without Dean, who died of bacterial sepsis last year. August with only 32 years.
Dean had been acting completely normal and was seen training in a boxing lesson just days before she was rushed to a New York City hospital, where she shockingly died just hours later. Her family later explained that her spleen had been removed following a serious car accident in 2008, making her more vulnerable to infections like the one that claimed her life.
The news came just two weeks before the start of a planned North American press conference, and five weeks before Triangle of Sadness was set to be released in the US.
The film was expected to be Dean’s breakout role, where he played a bratty influencer named Yaya who boards a superyacht for a luxury vacation, only for the ship to sink, leaving the super-rich stranded on a deserted island.
Critics praised her performance, calling her “a star in the making,” and there’s no doubt she would have been among the stars lining the red carpet on Sunday night.
Charlbi Dean was poised to become a star for her role in Triangle of Sadness when she died of bacterial sepsis last August at the age of 32.
She appears in the Oscar-nominated film Triangle of Sadness as a bratty influencer named Yaya who boards a superyacht for a luxury vacation.
Explaining how well she played the role of a spoiled influencer named Yaya, Hemmendorff said the hollywood reporter: ‘(Charlbi) was a troupe, a calm and pleasant person. We were all talking about who this character could be, and then someone said, “That sounds like Charlbi.”
“So we contacted her and asked, ‘Could you come to Sweden for two days because we won’t give you a part if you don’t do a real casting with Ruben in our office.’ And she just did. She blew up, and I mean, he was there right away.We have a very specific way of shooting and working.
Hemmendorff continued: ‘There are hierarchies, but we really work with people who will enjoy working hard in that kind of creative environment. And she was just one of those people who always made everyone feel great.
‘You can do as many takes as you want. She was always ready for the next one, a professional. The kindest person, easy going, hard working. she was unique.
Hemmendorff’s enthusiastic praise for the kindhearted professionalism of the South African-born Dean stands in stark contrast to the character he played in Triangle of Sadness.
Yaya, the model and social media star played by Dean, is vapid and entitled, and the fictional diva finds herself in trouble when a free yacht cruise she accepts goes disastrously wrong.
The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw named Dean after “a star in the making”.
Triangle of Sadness is nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director at the Oscars.
It won the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival last year and received an eight-minute standing ovation from a rapt audience at the annual film event.
Dean was revered as a ‘star in the making’ at the time of her sudden death. She appears here in June in Netflix’s Spiderhead premiere.
Dean’s death came just weeks before Triangle of Sadness was set to open in the United States. She is seen here with her co-stars Vicki Berlin, Woody Harrelson and director Ruben Ostlund.
Triangle of Sadness won the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival last year and received an eight-minute standing ovation from a rapt audience at the annual film event.
Recalling how unsettling it was to promote the film without the actress, the film’s director, Rüben Ostlund, said yahoo: ‘We were about to go out and do this (press) tour together and go to Toronto and have the whole cast there to present the movie together.
‘And suddenly there is a place that is missing. Someone is not standing there and taking part of the credit for the work. So that’s been something that has felt very, very sad on an unexpected level.
He agreed that the film would likely have boosted Dean’s career, saying: “She may have been working as a model and an actress before, but I felt like this was a little crossroads where (her career) was going somewhere (exciting ).’
Ostlund said that he hopes the film itself serves as a tribute to Dean, revealing that he takes solace in the knowledge that Dean’s family was delighted by his performance and the rave reviews.
Director Erik Hemmendorf, pictured last month, recalled Dean as a “one of a kind” artist in a recent interview.
Dean is pictured here with his fiancé Luke Volker in a photo posted to his Instagram.
Dean is survived by his mother, Joann Mueller, and brother Alex Jacobs (pictured)
Dean worked as a child model and attended the Waterfront Theater School in his hometown of Cape Town as a teenager.
He appeared in local television productions and the American superhero series Black Lightning before landing the role in Triangle of Sadness.
The sudden death of the young actress sparked a worldwide avalanche of tributes.
Dean is survived by his parents Joanne Mueller and Johan Kriek, as well as his brother Alex Jacobs and his fiancé Luke Volmer, a South African actor and model.