Dame Helen Mirren recently lost her stepson, Rio Hackford.
The “Star Wars” actor had appeared in the Disney+ live-action series “The Mandalorian” as the droid IG-11 in the show’s first season. He was also known for his reoccurring role as Toby on the HBO drama “Treme.” He also had a few smaller appearances in shows like “American Crime Story” and “True Detective.” His latest film credit was as the manager in the limited series “Pam & Tommy,” which was released this past February.
Helen Mirren Pays Tribute To Late Stepson Rio Hackford
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Mirren posted a picture of a Rio smiling for the camera on Instagram with the caption “El Rio.” His brother, Alex, confirmed the news to Variety, saying that Rio died following an illness. Hackford was the son of “Parker” director Taylor Hackford, who is the husband of Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.
His friend, screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, also paid tribute to Rio on Instagram with a long tribute.
He began his lengthy tribute, writing, “Life is experience. Time and sensation folding together, framing each other. Rio was more attuned to experience than anyone I’ve ever known. He would stop what was happening to point it out, compel you to pay attention. He would order you a must-have experience from a beloved menu and hold your eye as you paid attention to what was happening in your mouth.”
“He would put an experience for you on the stereo, then start it over and play it again for you because we were talking over it the first time and ‘Pal, you really have to listen to it,’” he continued.
Screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis Pays Tribute To Helen Mirren’s Stepson
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“Not simply obsessed with movies and how they mirrored and compelled, he was something more: a superfan of enumerable scenes, of particular gestures of unsung actors, weird career turns, roaring comebacks, cinema swan songs — all real experiences for you, when beheld consciously,” he wrote.
“During phone calls from one traveling cell phone to another, he would keep track of where you were and let you know what incredible meal or bar was in your vicinity, a gourmand GPS thrumming at all times, for you,” he continued. “And those long long calls went by so quickly, his gift of gab so paradoxical as set in his Gary Cooper laconic mien. Worthy experience isn’t everywhere.”
He added, “But Rio knew the closest to you at any given moment, and keeping track of these precious possibilities for you was his most fluent language of love. Rio was the apex curator of experience, it was his oxygen, his life.”
Screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis Calls Rio ‘A Quiet Force, Not A Loud One’
“We, his friends, are spokes on a wheel, and Rio was the hub,” he explained. “This isn’t happenstance, as this state can often be. Rio was energy, and he drew you, but it was a quiet force, not a loud one. And he knew exactly who you needed to know, who you would enjoy, who you would delight in experiencing, and he needed to put that person together with you.”
“Or, we are a planetary system, and Rio was the star, the center of gravitational pull and balance, also the system’s source of light,” he wrote. “And we are so much LESS today, now. And the world makes so much LESS sense, as if that were even possible.”
“There’s so much to be said about this man and a line backed up around the planet of people who’s lives he changed, ready to say it, for a long time to come,” he went on. “I’ll stop here. But I share this much because I want to be more like him, and I want everyone to be more like him, to think about how you take in the world around you, how you enjoy it, to savor its experience, its life, and share it.”
“The success and happiness of those close to him was as close to a religion as he may have had,” he wrote. “And even your wild nose-dive mistakes, as long as he recognized them as just you being unavoidably you, could also bring a twinkle to his eye that could light up a car interior, framed by a bemused and affectionate facial shrug that to know was to adore.”
“He loved the good you did and he loved your dumb a– when you did bad too. His generosity was quiet and overwhelming. His honesty was the best kind — complete and never without caring, even the tough stuff,” he concluded. “I don’t think Rio hung up the phone often with a thought of what he should have said. Rio gave it to you, all of it, and if it was tough, he put it softly into your hand. He was on the phone, or on a plane without a word when that’s what friendship called for.”