Ryan Reynolds has released a statement regarding the death of stuntwoman Jo ‘SJ’ Harris, who was killed on the set of Deadpool 2 yesterday (14 August).
“Today, we tragically lost a member of our crew while filming Deadpool,” wrote Reynolds, in a message which he has since posted to Twitter.
“We’re heartbroken, shocked and devastated… but recognise nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment.
“My heart pours out to them – along with each and every person she touched in this world.”
At 8.20am, Harris reportedly seemed to “lose control” of her motorcycle and crashed through the glass of the Shaw Tower’s ground floor studio. She had reportedly successfully completed the stunt four times for the film before the fatal crash.
Her identity was revealed hours after the incident, when 20th Century Fox released a statement saying: “We are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred on the set of Deadpool 2 this morning.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of our crew member during this difficult time.”
Deadpool 2 was Harris’ first film as a stunt performer.
The young driver was the first licensed African American Woman in US history to actively compete in AMA-sanctioned motorcycle road-racing events.
She began racing in Brooklyn in 2009 and, according to a 2015 fundraising campaign on RallyMe.com, logged more than 1,500 training hours before the end of 2012 “while working two night jobs and completing a college degree”.
In an interview with Black Girls Ride magazine in 2015, Harris spoke of her beginnings on the professional track, when almost all her competitors were white men who had been training since their young teens.
“I am everything people never saw in this sport,” she told Black Girls Ride. “Sisters on the track are few and far between. I want to show them that there’s more for them to be exposed to. I want to get the kids interested in the experience.”
In a rallying cry to women everywhere, Harris added: “Sometimes we overthink things too much.
“Try it! Just do it!”
Images: Rex Features