Themes Are Universal in Joey Dedio Film 'Tio Papi'


Alexandra Lucia-Miller

In his latest film, actor Joey Dedio plays an uncle who unexpectedly becomes a father to six children after his sister and her husband are killed in a car crash. The cast of “Tio Papi” may be made up of mostly of Latino actors, but the central themes apply to all audiences, Dedio said.

Dedio stars as Ray Ray and also wrote the comedy-drama, which features an all-Latino cast, with the exception of Kelly McGillis and Frankie Faison, NBC Latino reported.

The movie was recently screened at the Puerto Rico and Cleveland International Film Festivals, as well as several others.

Dedio explained the genesis of the film, saying,  “I was in Los Angeles and I saw a guy in a park, and all these kids were jumping on him, and they were all yelling ‘Tio! Tio! Tio!,’ and my friend laughed and said, ‘That’s probably because those are not his kids,’ and that’s how ‘Tio Papi’ came about.”

The story just happens to be about a Latino family, but Dedio said that all families, “African-Americans, white, rich, poor”, can relate to the film’s messages.

“I think people are gravitating towards movies that really matter,” he said. “What really matters most is family.”

“Tio Papi” is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on Sept. 6. Dedio is now working on making the movie into a television series.

“They’ve been calling me the Latino Tyler Perry,” he said while reflecting on his recent success.

Past acting jobs introduced Dedio to the world of independent film-making. He decided to produce films through his own company and now works in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Dedio started the production company Active Fox in 2000 and has produced three films in 2012.

Dedio has been in the entertainment business since he was ten years old. He first appeared in several commercials and went on to play Raul in NBC’s “Another World” in 1985. He moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and landed the role of Daniel La Russo in “The Karate Kid” television series.

(Photo by Stephen Falke via NBC Latino)