- Brooklyn native Joi “SJ” Harris died in Vancouver Monday morning, August 14 while filming a stunt on the upcoming superhero film Deadpool 2. Harris is the first black woman in road racing.
This was Harris’ first time doing stunts for a film and she performed the stunt successfully four times after losing control the fifth time around. The bike’s throttle became “somehow engaged” during the fifth time. Her bike crashed through the window of a ground-floor studio inside Shaw Tower in Vancouver.
At the time of the stunt, Harris was not wearing a helmet because her role didn’t require one. She was filling in for the film’s co-star Zazie Beetz who plays Domino.
We rarely ever talk about the contributions of stunt-people to movies and TV, and it’s even rarer when it’s a black man or woman.
Harris started riding bikes in 2012, received her race license in May 2013 and started racing in 2014 with the American Sportbike Racing Association/Championship Cup Series.
The film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, shared a touching tribute to the stuntwoman on Twitter hours after her unexpected and tragic passing.
In a message posted on social media, he said: ‘Today, we tragically lost a member of our crew while filming Deadpool.
‘We’re heartbroken, shocked and devastated…but recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loves ones must feel in this moment.
‘My heart pours out to them – along with each and every person she touched in this world.’