Reese Witherspoon leads tributes to 'Wild' and 'Big Little Lies' director Jean-Marc Vallée: 'My heart is broken'

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·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon arrive at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 5, 2020. (Photo: Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon arrive at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 5, 2020. (Photo: Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley paid tribute to their Big Little Lies director, Jean-Marc Vallée, with emotional messages on Monday, after he died Sunday at 58.

Witherspoon, who also worked with Vallée on Wild, for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, in 2015, was devastated. 

"My heart is broken," she wrote on her Instagram Story, alongside a photo of the two together. "My friend. I love you."

(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)

Meanwhile, Woodley used one image, which appears to be him preparing a meal, under several captions, to express her hurt, in a stream of consciousness posting.

"I am in shock," she began. "Complete and utter shock. My f****** god death is the worst."

(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)

"But I guess somehow I know you will turn it into a grand adventure ... one for the books," she added. "One I cant [sic] wait to read & to watch when my time comes."

(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)

Then, "It doesn't make sense though dude. It doesn't make sense. ... Maybe when we wake up tomorrow you'll be there laughing saying it was just a satirical short film you made. That it's not real." 

She asked, "Did you ever want it? Did you want it bad?"

"Oh my, it tears me apart," she concluded.

(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)

The women were part of an ensemble cast, which also included Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgård and, in its second season, Meryl Streep. Based on a 2014 book by Liane Moriarty, the HBO drama centered on the lives of upper-class mothers at a prestigious elementary school by the sea. It won a total of eight Emmys, including nods for Witherspoon and Woodley. In 2017, Vallée himself won an Emmy for directing the project.

Dern sent the director a love letter in the following hours. "The world has lost one of our greatest and purest artists and dreamers," she captioned a photo of the two laughing together. "And we lost our beloved friend. Our hearts are broken."

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, who starred in Vallée's Dallas Buyers Club, the 2013 drama that earned each of them an Oscar, followed suit.

In a poetic message, McConaughey said that "love stories were everywhere in [Vallée's] eye."

Meanwhile, Leto called Vallée "a filmmaking force and a true artist who changed my life." 

"Life is precious," he concluded.

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