Beasts of the Southern Wild actress Jonshel Alexander shot dead at 22 6 months ago

Beasts of the Southern Wild actress Jonshel Alexander shot dead at 22

As a child, Jonshel appeared in the critically acclaimed film Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Actress Jonshel Alexander has passed away in a reported shooting aged 22.

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According to People, an assailant reportedly shot at Jonshel while she was in a car in Louisiana over the weekend.

Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, while the other man drove himself to hospital.

Investigators have said that they have identified and located a vehicle of interest in relation to the shooting.

The former child star was perhaps best known for her performance as Joy Strong in Benh Zeitlin's film Beasts of the Southern Wild.

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Alexander had originally auditioned to play the film's lead, Hushpuppy, but that role ended up going to Quvenzhané Wallis. However, as the director was so impressed with Alexander's audition, he created a new character just for her.

Zeitlin told Nola.com that he was "devastated" to hear of Alexander's passing.

Previously, the director said: "We incorporated a part into the film that was very much inspired by her.

"A lot 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 called Joy Strong which always seemed like a perfect description of Jonshel."

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On Tuesday, Jonshel's mother spoke to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans, and told the publication that the creators of the film "fell in love" with her daughter.

She said: "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'."