Ruben Östlund, the director of Triangle of Sadness, was devastated when Charlbi Dean passed away just weeks before the film's release. The South African actress delivered a stunning performance as Yaya in the black comedy, which won the Palme d'Or for Best Film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. The film is now up for three Oscars at the upcoming ceremony.
Dean's tragic death came as a shock to Östlund and the entire cast and crew. The actress fell ill and was hospitalized in New York City, where she passed away from bacterial sepsis. The news came just two weeks before the North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and five weeks before its US release.
Östlund recalls the moment he heard the news, "Someone is not standing there and taking part of the credit for the work. So that has been something that's felt really sad on an unexpected level." Dean's performance was crucial to the film's success, and everyone involved felt her loss deeply.