Actor of the Week: Robin Williams
It’s Actor of the Week time again, and this week we have picked someone I believe is very close to many people's hearts, and one of the biggest losses to the acting world - the extremely talented Robin Williams. Williams had the ability to draw every emotion possible with his acting, whether it was making you laugh whilst he was dressed up as a woman, or making you cry as he plays a psychologist helping a young boy with his life.
The question is where to start when you talk about Robin Williams, he has had an incredible career, such as his role in 1988’s Good Morning, Vietnam - the first of his first Oscar nominations. Therefore I am going to stick to what I believe to be some of his classics. The first film I remember seeing Williams in was 1991’s Hook, a film about Peter Pan, and how he has grown up, settled down and had a family, only to be drawn back to Neverland to save his family. Straight away this film highlighted Robin’s range with it being a film that was aimed at kids, which had comedy but also an undercurrent of growing up and handling adulthood, therefore making it able to be enjoyed by any age.
With Robin now cemented into the Hollywood industry, he took on what is probably one of the biggest roles of his career, and quite early on in his life, and that was voicing Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. A film about a street urchin with a dream to become royalty, who uses a magical genie to help him with making this dream come true. Robin Williams made this character iconic, by bringing his charm and humor to the role, but also his ability to capture that emotional side when needed. I understand Will Smith will be taking on this role in the remake directed by Guy Ritchie, which is a bold move by The Fresh Prince.
Shortly after the Disney classic, Williams took on what is, in my opinion, his most iconic role, that being Daniel Hillard AKA Mrs Doubtfire. This is a film that runs directly through my childhood, and one I can watch repeatedly. It is a touching story about a father who just loves his kids but is sadly very irresponsible, causing him and his wife Miranda (Sally Fields) to divorce, with Miranda getting full custody of the children. As Daniel is unable to see his children, he dresses up as a woman and becomes the children’s Nanny, with help from his makeup artist brother. This film is hilarious, sad, fun and emotionally driven. Williams was never going to win any awards for this film, but I do believe it is a perfect representation of how talented his was. The scene at the end where he is replying to a little girl’s letter about divorce carries so much more weight now after his passing, and is scene that I imagine many people watched on the day of death.
There are so many roles Williams has played in his career that people will remember, like Patch Adams, Bicentennial Man, Jumanji and so many more, but there is one film that solidified the talent of Robin Williams, and I think you’ll know exactly which film I am referring to, the award winning motion picture, Good Will Hunting, which gave Robin Williams his first and only Oscar for his role as Psychologist Sean. Good Will Hunting is about a boy called Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, who is incredibly talented at Maths but has an extremely hard life, and is somewhat saved by Sean, as he sets Will back onto the right path, allowing him to achieve his full potential. This is an incredibly moving film, and it shows us the depth of Robin Williams’ acting as his character deals with Will’s incredibly emotional backstory.
I could go on forever talking about Robin Williams, especially as he has worked alongside my favourite director Christopher Nolan in Insomnia, but we all know just how incredible an actor he was. Actor of the Week is not to educate you on these talented people, but to pay appreciation to the incredible work they have contributed to something we all love. Robin Williams has blessed us with so many great roles, and will live on forever through his work. I, for one, am grateful to have grown up with his films. Thank you Robin.