It’s been 25 years since the legendary Robin Williams posed as a rock-n-rollin’ nanny, and his fellow cast members have reunited with fond memories of the late great comedian.
Classic family film Mrs Doubtfire was released in 1993, starring Williams and Oscar winner Sally Field. And the actors who played the Hillard children — Lisa Jakub as Lydia, Matthew Lawrence as Chris, and itty bitty Mara Wilson as Natalie, are all grown up.
Reuniting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the film (sadly not in the house), the three joined co-star Pierce Brosnan, who played Field’s swanky new boyfriend Stu in the film for an interview on TODAY with NBC’s Gadi Schwartz.
Mama Field wasn’t there as she was on a book tour for her new memoir, In Pieces.
Among their own memories of meeting each other for the first time on set, the cast reminisced about the inimitable, beloved Williams, who played Daniel Hillard and the eponymous hero Euphegenia Doubtfire in the film. Williams died in 2014.
The cast celebrated his particularly his incredible improv talents, from filming that restaurant scene, to the pool scene, and the scene when Williams throws the remote in the fish tank.
“It’d be like, ‘OK, take 25!'” said Wilson. “Robin would be different every time.”
“To work with Robin was just sheer heaven,” said Brosnan. “To watch his artistry, his commitment, his passion, his humanity, and just his hard work and commitment to the role, and to everyone on the set, it permeated all our lives.”
“He was so great with kids … He was very kind, very giving, very funny,” said Wilson, who described Williams as “a consummate performer,” and detailed all the comedic material he would deliver on set just for his younger co-stars. “He would make his carpet bag bark like a dog under the table. There were so many times, just innumerable times that he made us laugh.”
Jakub said Williams’ own openness about his struggle with addiction and depression helped her see her own lifelong battle with anxiety in a different light.
“One of the most powerful things for me about working with him is that he was very open and honest with me talking about his issues with addiction, depression, and that was so powerful to me at 14,” she said.
Lawrence had a similar experience, with Williams actively looking out for his young co-stars, explaining his highs and lows of emotion frankly, and even taking Lawrence out for a wander through San Francisco in full Mrs Doubtfire costume.
“Robin was like a guiding force,” Lawrence said. “Like, he would just, all of a sudden out of the blue look over to me like, ‘By the way, don’t do drugs! Really messed up my brain. I’m serious. Do not do them.’ I was like, ‘OK!’ That stuck with me.”