It’s become shockingly commonplace these days to see photos of Hideo Kojima standing next to celebrities, especially if they’re involved with Hollywood. Keanu Reeves. Peter Jackson. JJ Abrams. George Miller. Geoff Keighely? The list is endless, and there’s nothing newsworthy about it anymore. But even I was given pause while scrolling through photos coming out of Kojima’s art gallery event in New York to celebrate the launch of Death Stranding, and saw friends taking photos of—and taking photos with—actress Helen Mirren.
Look, it’s 2019. We should celebrate—and certainly not be surprised—that an accomplished performer like Mirren might be playing video games in between shots on set. That’d rule. But if that’s true, I also wanted to know how she ended up at this party. Does she love Kojima?
I asked a few people who were at the event if they had any clues, but it turned up nothing.
But Mirren’s Instagram, because of course someone cool enough to be at this party also has an Instagram, held the answer.
Apparently, Mirren’s stepson worked on Death Stranding, and she is a “very proud step mom.” My heart? Melted. The post says her stepson, Alex, “is responsible for the music in the new sony playstation game Death Stranding. ( and all their other games.)”
The composer of Death Stranding is Ludvig Forsell, who worked with Kojima on Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. His name is not Alex.
In a photo gallery from the event, the mysterious Alex is revealed in a photo with Mirren, Kojima, and actress Lindsey Wagner (aka The Bionic Woman). “Alex” is Alex Hackford, who’s a longtime employee at Sony.
For years, Hackford was the head of A&R at PlayStation. A&R stands for artists and repertoire, which means Hackford was overseeing talent recruitment, artist acquisitions, etc. This summer, according to Hackford’s Linkedin, he became the head of creative music affairs at PlayStation.
And that, friends, is why one of our greatest living actresses was at a party for Death Stranding and ended up in a photo with frickin’ Dan Ryckert. We live in outstanding times.