Ruben Östlund and the cast of “Triangle of Sadness” came together for the first time since the sudden, shocking death of Charlbi Dean, the young star of the film.
The satirical black comedy, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes just four months ago, premiered in North America on Tuesday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival — just 15 days since 32-year-old Dean died of an unexpected illness in New York. York on August 29.
“It is a very emotional display for us because of Charlbi Dean, our colleague, one of the protagonists who passed away 15 days ago. We wanted her to be here, by our side, to share in this fantastic moment,” said Östlund during his introduction to the screening. He was joined onstage by stars Harris Dickinson and Dolly De Leon, who were clearly moved by the moment and hugged each other.
“I want to say a few words about Charlbi,” the director continued. “She was a very caring colleague and a person who lifted everyone on set and brought out the best in everyone. You will also see that she was a very, very precise actress. So take a good look at her performance in this film.”
“The three of us would like to dedicate this screening to her family and Charlbi, to honor her work,” said Östlund. “I’m 100% sure Charlbi would want us to have a fantastic evening here. This would also be an important evening for her to present the film to North American audiences.”
At the time of her death, Dean was said to be suffering from a chest infection. An official cause of death has not yet been announced.
“Triangle of Sadness” marked Dean’s first major film role. The South African model and actor starred alongside Dickinson as a high-fashion, celebrity couple who are invited on a cruise for the ultra-wealthy, which at first appears to be a paradise for the wealthy, social media influencers. However, they soon discover that their shipmates are a Russian oligarch, a British arms dealer and other criminals. The power dynamics shift on board the ship and a class conflict ensues.
On Tuesday, Dickinson paid tribute to Dean in a social media post, writing that “in the short time we knew and worked together, you guys made a huge impact.”
“Friendly and generous as people only hope to be. I will miss you friend. See you on the other side,” the British actor wrote.
Filipino actor De Leon, the breakthrough star of the film, honored Dean days after her death in a lengthy Instagram post: “This big, gaping hole in my heart may never mend. It hurts so much and I’ll never be ready to say goodbye. So I’ll see you around the corner. In the meantime, don’t finish all the chips and chocolates, okay? Save some for me.”
The crowd-pleasing “Triangle of Sadness” was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival and is expected to be released in the US on October 8. Neon surfaced for the film for about $8 million in a competitive market that also included buyers like A24. After Toronto, “Triangle of Sadness” will also be screened at the New York Film Festival.
As Sweden’s leading contemporary filmmaker and producer, Stlund’s previous films have included ‘Force Majeure’ in 2014 and ‘The Square’, which won the Palme d’Or in 2017. ‘Triangle of Sadness’ marks his English-language debut.
More to come. ..