Rivera, who perished in a plane crash at the weekend (08-09Dec12), made her acting debut in Olmos' new film drama Filly Brown, and the Blade Runner star admits he was impressed by his co-star's talents.
He tells Billboard.com, "News of the plane crash tore my heart out. Jenni was just an amazing force. From the very beginning I've said that she could garner an Academy Award for her work in Filly Brown. She had a tough life, but she also had an extraordinary gift. She touched millions of people and she'll be missed."
Rivera portrays an incarcerated drug addict in the film, which also features La Bamba star Lou Diamond Phillips. She recorded the song Hurts So Bad with Olmos for the film's soundtrack.
The singer died on Sunday in a plane crash near Monterrey, Mexico.