The tragic death of stunt double Joi “SJ” Harris on the set of Deadpool 2 brought the film to a standstill earlier this week and prompted to some to question if it could’ve been avoided. Harris was killed after a stunt ended with her losing control of her motorcycle and crashing through a glass window. The 40-year-old professional motorcycle driver had never worked on a film before, joining Deadpool 2 as her first stunt job.
While the details of the accident that led to her death and her qualifications to provide stunts for the film remain in question, the film has resumed production and the stars of the film are sharing their reactions while also trying to speak for the crew during a tough period. Zazie Beetz, who plays Domino in the film, shared a heartfelt statement on her Instagram page to honor the fallen stuntwoman and give her condolences to Harris’ family:
“On Monday we tragically lost one of our own — Joi ‘SJ’ Harris. My heart has been breaking the past two days and I have been searching what to say or do. I know that what I feel is nothing compared to what her loved ones, friends and family, are feeling. My heart and my love goes out to her and them all. The cast and crew send peace, healing, and their deepest condolences.”
She was joined by Ryan Reynolds, who shared his own statement on Twitter and was filmed reportedly leading the cast and crew in a moment of silence on the set.
Harris is the latest in a tragic string of stunt accidents in Hollywood, including the loss of The Walking Dead stuntman John Bernecker. Even actors who typically do their own stunts, like Tom Cruise, are feeling the soreness of the profession and showing just how dangerous and skilled you need to be to perform stunts on a film.
While the questions around Harris death continue to circle, it’s likely a good moment to step back and realize the risks that can be involved to create entertainment on the big and small screen. It’s partly why stunt workers fight for recognition from the Oscars nearly every year.