Adam Shankman, who worked with Naya Rivera on multiple projects, said the video showed both "what [she was] like and how [he will] remember her"

By Jen Juneau
July 14, 2020 11:51 AM
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Despite working with her on multiple television projects, Adam Shankman is remembering Naya Rivera's biggest role as Mom.

On Monday night — hours after the actress's body was recovered from Lake Piru in California, following her disappearance five days previous — the director, producer and choreographer, 55, shared a video tribute to Rivera, who died at the age of 33.

The 1-minute clip sees Rivera and her only child, 4½-year-old Josey Hollis, singing the "Skinnamarink" song, made popular by kids' musical trio Sharon, Lois & Bram on The Elephant Show in the 1980s.

"All right, you want to sing it? You start," Rivera addresses Josey in the footage, before launching into the song with her little boy.

Naya Rivera and son Josey
Adam Shankman/ Instagram

"I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon / I love you in the evening, and underneath the moon," they sing, before the video ends with the star kissing her son.

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Adam Shankman's Instagram Story
Adam Shankman/ Instagram

Before sharing the video, Shankman — who worked with Rivera on Glee and, more recently, on Step Up: High Water — posted a black-and-white photo of himself with the actress to his Instagram Story.

"I love you buddy ... I always will. My heart is broken," he wrote on top of it. "But I promise, all I will remember is the laughter and talks ... and more laughter. I don't know how to say goodbye.

Alongside another photo of the pair shared to his feed, Shankman said, "Naya ... I don't know how to write this or what to say, other then thank you for being my friend. Thank you for showing up for me personally and professionally over and over and sharing so much laughter and so much heartbreak. But you always showed up. I keep pouring through the pictures of our years together, and all we seemed to do was laugh."

"Unending, hearty, belly laughing. From glee where we bonded so quickly over me painting your head black and covering you in blood red lipstick to play 'the lips' in The Rocky Horror Glee show (as of last week we were still laughing about that insanity), to you saying yes to starring in @stepupseries at first as a favor and then becoming the mother of that whole cast and crew who loved and worshiped you. You were that shows North Star."

"And you always showed up. For every charity ask. You attended, have performed. You always showed up," Shankman continued. "And sweet sweet Josey. The love of your life. You were one of the most ferocious and loving mothers I have ever seen and that’s what Josey will remember. That, how beautiful you were, how kind and fun, and how much you laughed. I miss you mama. I miss you too much. But all I can remember now, is the laughing. So as is sift through these ridiculous pictures, I promise you that I will be laughing not crying, just like always."

Naya Rivera
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

RELATED VIDEO: Glee Star Naya Rivera Dead at 33 After Disappearing on Boating Trip with 4-Year-Old Son

On Monday, the Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up author's body was found five days after she went missing during a boating trip at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, with Josey, whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub recounted what Josey told authorities about the tragic accident.

"We know from speaking with her son, that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey. It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind," the sheriff said. "He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."

Ayub added that "there are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon" and that authorities believe she disappeared in the "mid-afternoon."

"The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself," he said.

Naya Rivera and son Josey
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Rivera was reported missing after renting a pontoon boat at the lake with Josey. After the boat was overdue for return following the three-hour rental, staff at the lake found it at the north side of the body of water with her son aboard, but not Rivera.

According to NBC Los Angeles, Josey was wearing his lifejacket when he was found asleep on the vessel. An adult lifejacket, believed to be the one provided to Rivera, was still on the boat. The police said the lake would remain closed to the public for the duration of the search — which had shifted to a mission to recover Rivera's body by the following morning, as police had presumed her to be dead.

After the actress went missing, Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Buschow told the Los Angeles Times that Josey was "in good health" after being found, adding, "The family is going through a very traumatic time right now."

Rivera's last post on Instagram was a close-up snapshot of her and her little boy sharing a sweet embrace and a smooch, shared one day before her disappearance. "Just the two of us," she captioned it.

Following her disappearance, a source told PEOPLE in part of Rivera, "Her son comes first. That's apparent in everything she's posted and done. Everything is about her son."