Ryan Reynolds Honors Stuntwoman Who Died in Tragic Accident on Deadpool 2 Set
Stunt work can be incredibly dangerous, which is why stunt performers have jobs in the first place. They have a set of specialized skills to keep them as safe as possible, and often unseen measures are taken as added precautions.
Unfortunately, that’s not always enough.
Yesterday, a tragedy occurred when a stunt performer died on the set of Deadpool 2. The film’s lead, Ryan Reynolds, is speaking out and sharing his grief.
Ryan Reynolds is known for his great sense of humor, both on screen and in person.
But he is also very capable of speaking seriously.
Topics don’t get much more serious than death.
And Ryan Reynolds tweeted out a message on behalf of everyone involved in the film:
“We’re heartbroken, shocked, devastated…”
Of course they are.
“But recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment.”
That’s absolutely the right thing to say and the healthiest perspective to maintain.
No one could feel that loss as acutely as her closest loved ones.
“My heart pours out to them — along with each and every person she touched in this world.”
The woman who died was not initially identified.
We now know who she is, however, and since her loved ones have been notified, let’s tell you a little about her.
Her name was Joi SJ Harris.
She was a pioneering black motorcycle racer, which made her a natural fit for Deadpool 2.
Though the stunt had been rehearsed without incident multiple times, Joi reportedly hit a curb and became airborne, flying through a building’s window.
Emergency services were called, but unfortunately, paramedics and even doctors can only do so much.
This happened at about 8am on Monday morning.
Here is a photo of her — a selfie shared on Facebook:
According to her website, Joi SJ Harris got her Class M license back in 2009.
And she never looked back.
Joi only began racing in 2014 after acquiring a racing license the year before.
She became the first ever black woman to participate in a road-racing event that was sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association.
Her Deadpool 2 role was reportedly her first-ever movie gig, which only serves to compound this tragedy.
The first Deadpool was widely acclaimed and featured some terrific action scenes, including plenty of motorcycle use.
We can only speculate as to what Joi SJ Harris’ role might have been in this film.
She was a stunt performer, so the character she represented may have been nameless.
It is also possible that she was a stand-in for a major character, like Domino — a fan favorite mutant from the X-Men universe whose power of probability-manipulation mostly translates to having preternaturally good aim.
Just as watching Star Trek: Beyond after Anton Yelchin’s death was bittersweet, and just like watching Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi will certainly be emotional after Carrie Fisher’s tragic passing, the experience of watching Deadpool 2 will be altered by the knowledge that Joi SJ Harris died while it was being filmed.
But it’s sure to be a fantastic movie, as the first one was.
We just wish that Joi SJ Harris had gotten to finish filming.
And, of course, to see herself in theaters.
No matter the scope of your role, that’s always cool to do.
Rest in peace, Joi.
And we’re glad that her life and death have been honored by the team behind the film.
There’s no telling when Ryan Reynolds will return to his usual Twitter brand of humorous tweets.