Justin Timberlake: ‘Jonathan Demme was a special soul who made me a better man’

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake has added his tribute to the man behind his 2016 concert movie, calling the late Jonathan Demme a “special soul”.

Demme, who lost his battle with cancer in New York on Wednesday (26Apr17), and the singer/actor became fast friends while they were working together on what was to be the moviemaker’s last project, Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids – and they were talking about teaming up again for a film.

Upon learning of his friend’s passing, Timberlake released a statement, revealing working with the 73-year-old made him “a better human”.

Justin posted a black and white photo of the pair hugging on Instagram, and added the caption: “Where do I begin..? Words just aren’t enough with heartache like this. 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. 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.”

Demme, who also directed Philadelphia and The Silence of the Lambs, died from complications from oesophageal cancer.

His Philadelphia leading man Tom Hanks and The Silence of the Lambs leading lady Jodie Foster have already paid tribute to Demme in statements released on Wednesday.

Spike Lee has also posted a photograph of his friend directing Philadelphia, adding the caption: “We Lost Another Great Artist Today, My Colleague Jonathan Demme. Here He Is In This Picture Flanked By Denzel Washington In His Monumental Film, PHILADELPHIA (1993). May You Rest In Cinematic Power.”

The filmmaker’s publicist has confirmed Demme passed away at his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and their family.

“There will be a private family funeral,” the publicist says. “Any possible further plans will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Americans For Immigrant Justice in Miami.”

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