Jonshel Alexander, who performed in Beasts of the Southern Wild, died at the age of 22 after a shooting, Us Weekly confirms.
The actress was inside a car with a man on Saturday, November 27, when they were allegedly both shot. Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene while the unidentified man was able to check himself into a Louisiana hospital.
Police have reportedly found a vehicle of interest that may have been used by the shooter, New Orleans Advocate reports.
Alexander originally made his acting debut as Joy Strong in Beasts of the Southern Wild in 2012. The former actress starred alongside Quvenzhané Wallis in the drama film that explored a poor Louisiana bayou community and their struggle to survive.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was adapted from Lucy Alibar‘s one act Juicy and delicious, was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture. Wallis, 18, also wrote history as the youngest nominated best actress at the age of 9 for her starring role in the film.
Following the news of Alexander’s death, Annie The actress paid tribute to her co-star via Instagram on Wednesday, December 1, writing: “When we were filming, we were always together and I wish I could go back in time so I can see you again. I love you. You will stay missed by so many.🙏🏽🕊🕊. ”
Beasts of the Southern Wild Manager Benh Zeitlin also reflected on getting started with Alexander, whom he called an “absolute one of a kind, unforgettable natural force man.”
“She was a really strong burning candle,” Zeitlin, 39, said in an interview with New Orleans Advocate Tuesday 30 November “We have incorporated a part into the film that was very inspired by her. Many of the lines were written by her, and so much of the character grew out of who Jonshel was. Her character in the film is named Joy Strong, which always seemed like a perfect description of Jonshel. She was a really strong burning candle. “
Jonshel’s mother, Shelly Alexander, remembered how the team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild “fell in love” with his deceased daughter immediately.
“She was thinking, ‘I’m going to be in this movie,'” Shelly told the newspaper. “She brought life to everything. Jonshel was bubbly, jazzy, spoiled. It was her way or no way. Jonshel thought, ‘It’s going to be me.’
Jonshel was the youngest of three children who worked as a hostess at various restaurants after graduating high school. She is survived by her 1-year-old daughter, De-vynne Robinson.
With reporting by Diana Cooper
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