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Justin Timberlake Remembers ‘Master of Humanity’ Jonathan Demme

Variety logo Variety 4/26/2017 Maane Khatchatourian

Justin Timberlake is the latest star to heap praise on Jonathan Demme, who died on Wednesday of cancer complications.

The pop star worked with the prolific filmmaker on his final feature, the 2016 concert documentary (and his most commercial concert movie) “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.”

“Where do I begin? Words just aren’t enough with heartache like this,” Timberlake captioned a photo of him and the late director on Instagram.

“You, master of humanity. You, genius of storytelling. You, generous and warm man. You, special soul. You taught me so much about life and art and about standing up for what you believe. You made me better at my craft,” he continued. “And, the time I spent with you away from a camera and a stage made a better human out of me. You are truly irreplaceable. I will miss you so dearly, my sweet friend. I hope we meet again someday. I love you, JD. May you Rest In Peace.”

Instagram Photo © Provided by Variety Instagram Photo

Timberlake — a fan of Demme’s 1984 Talking Heads film “Stop Making Sense” — approached Demme about making a movie revolving around his “20/20 Experience” world tour. As serendipity would have it, Demme had wanted to work with the Grammy winner since seeing his performance in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids,” released on Netflix, was filmed in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Demme praised Timberlake in one of his final interviews, a Q&A with Variety conducted last September at the Toronto Film Festival.

“Justin Timberlake is a star with a show designed to be seen by countless masses of people, but I’ll also do documentaries that you pray will wind up in libraries. As a filmmaker, you have to trust your own taste and enthusiasm levels and let that guide you,” he told Variety.

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