Jonshel Alexander, one of the stars of the Oscar-nominated flick “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was fatally shot in Louisiana over the weekend.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alexander was shot inside a vehicle Saturday in New Orleans. A man, who was in the vehicle with her, also died. Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene. The man remained alive and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
After the shooters, investigators found a vehicle of interest but are yet to locate a suspect.
Alexander played the supporting role of Joy Strong in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” at age 12. The movie examines a bayou community set outside the dam system and the children who reside in it. More than 4,000 Louisiana natives auditioned for roles in the movie.
“She brought life to everything. Jonshel was feisty, jazzy, spoiled. It was her way or no way. Jonshel was like, ‘It’s going to be me,'” her mother, Shelly Alexander, told The Times Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
The film was nominated for four Oscars in 2013— Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress for nine-year-old star Quvenzhané Wallis. Wallis made history as the youngest ever to be nominated in the category.
“The reason I wanted to do this story was that I’m interested in the current moment of living in south Louisiana, where there’s a group of people, and a world, that knows they’re under threat constantly, but they’re totally entrenched in living there, and they’re not going to leave. I wanted to try to understand that impulse, that impulse as an observer and then also my personal impulse to move there and live there the rest of my life—why do you do that?” film creator Benh Zeitlin said in an interview with The Atlantic.
Our hearts go out to Alexander’s loved ones at this difficult time.