PARK CITY, Utah ― Robin Williams grew up as an solely baby to a fun-loving mom and businessman father far exterior the Hollywood machine. But the second he witnessed his stern dad chortle out loud at Jonathan Winters’ stick routine on “The Jack Paar Show,” Williams knew he wished to be a performer.
Nearly 4 years after Williams’ death, HBO is about to launch a brand new documentary on the beloved comic’s life and one-of-a-kind profession. “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” directed by Marina Zenovich and produced by Alex Gibney and Shirel Kozak, made its debut on the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night time to a sold-out crowd. Audience members diligently adopted the story of the award-winning actor from his childhood experiences at dwelling and in class to his tragic suicide at age 63.
Featuring new interviews with Williams’ first spouse, Valerie Velardi, “Mork & Mindy” co-star Pam Dawber, pals David Letterman and Billy Crystal, and his son Zak Williams, the movie highlights the actor’s artistic genius by way of a few of his most beloved stage and display performances, together with “A Night on the Met,” “Happy Days,” Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Aladdin,” his USO tour, “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society.”
It additionally shines a lightweight on Williams’ private life ― particularly, his three marriages, his dependancy to medicine and alcohol, and his friendships with the likes of John Belushi, Bobcat Goldthwait and Crystal.
The finest little bit of the movie includes voicemails that Williams left for Crystal, which play over a montage of pictures of the shut duo. Williams would check out numerous character impressions, like “Sam from the Syphilis Society,” to get an increase out of his buddy. Crystal returned the favor when Williams underwent an aortic valve replacement in 2009, leaving him voicemails from “Vinny the Valve Guy” to assist ease his restoration post-surgery.
Crystal reiterates that he wished to be pals with Williams because the day he met the eccentric comic within the 1980s. “I had no agenda,” Crystal says within the movie, “I simply favored him.”
One of essentially the most profound moments revolves round Belushi’s overdose ― Williams was with the “SNL” star at his bungalow the night time earlier than he died. On the “Mork & Mindy” set the following day, Dawber knowledgeable Williams that Belushi had died, making a degree to inform a cocaine-using Williams that she didn’t need him to finish up like Belushi. And he promised he by no means would.
“It sobered the shit out of me,” Williams admitted in a soundbite from one of many many interviews Zenovich and her staff dug up for the documentary.
Throughout his life, Williams used humor and efficiency as one other technique to get the “excessive” he craved in his day-to-day, in accordance with lots of the interviewees within the movie. Zak Williams reveals that his father’s calling ― his want to get from Hollywood what he wanted ― took him away from Zak and his half-siblings, Zelda and Cody.
Although Williams was a standout entertainer, behind closed doorways he was a mild-mannered introvert, as each behind-the-scenes archival footage and private movies reveal. Performer Williams was electrical, whereas Real-Life Williams was susceptible and quiet.
“He was actually comfy onstage and fewer comfy off,” his “Waiting for Godot” co-star Steve Martin stated within the doc.
Yet for many, it was laborious to not fall for Williams. Every individual interviewed for “Come Inside My Mind” appeared desirous to share heartfelt reminiscences and tales in regards to the actor’s craft, humor and character.
“He may levitate,” Letterman stated.
“The urge to be humorous was so innate to him,” “One Hour Photo” filmmaker Mark Romanek added.
In 2006, Williams fell again into alcohol use to numb a number of the ache he endured. Though he did get clear and continued to treat his addiction till the tip of his life in 2014, the trouble didn’t shield him from a misdiagnosis of Parkinson’s illness. In reality, he suffered from Lewy physique dementia, which was almost surely a factor in his suicide, Goldthwait stated.
Perhaps comic Lewis Black described Williams finest within the movie, stating, “[He was] the sunshine that by no means knew the best way to flip itself off.”
“Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” will air on HBO this fall and is now screening at Sundance.