I’m not going to say much. It’s not my place to do so, as I didn’t know him, but there are few actors I really feel an affinity with. I think it is a personal thing, which changes from generation to generation, but Robin Williams was in some truly landmark films for cinema, and for me. Some films you watch for the first time, and you love them, they touch your heart, for reasons only you know, and even though millions of people might feel the same, it is special to you.
Despite the dozens of films I’ve loved seeing him in, one film I’ve loved more than most for a long time is Mrs Doubtfire. I broke up with my eldest daughter’s mother in 1996, and I watched it for the first time in a bedsit I rented. I was at that time, Daniel Hillard, unable to see his kids when he wanted, and I felt his pain which he portrayed so incredibly.
There is one scene in Mrs Doubtfire where he leaves the family home, where he says goodbye to his kids. He walks around the car he has loaded with possessions, and as he walks, he taps the car with his fingertips, he is broken. I’ve never seen anything so touching, so personal in a film. I take that touch as Daniel Hillard’s intent to remain in control in front of his children, yet inside, have nothing left to give, and to be losing everything. I know that feeling, and it was so painful at the time, I can feel it now. Next time the film is on, look out for that touch on the car bonnet and look at his face; it truly breaks my heart.
In that film, was a young girl named Mara Wilson. I’ve followed her for a good while on twitter, enjoying what she has to say. She no longer acts, and it’s interesting to read why, but in that film, she played his little daughter. And tonight, she said this:
Ah. Upset me it did. Such a shame. I know there’s a lot going on at the moment in the world, there always is, but I reckon if we all sat down and watched that, we might all have a little hug after, and feel better for it.
Cheers old lad. I’m gutted, I really am.