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27th Nov 2018

Mrs. Doubtfire actress tells heartwarming story of Robin Williams being Robin Williams on set

"He could really riff on anything.”

Rich Cooper

Actress Mara Wilson, best known for her roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda, has shared a heartwarming story about Robin Williams on the set of the ’90s family classic

Life as a child actor is notoriously difficult, with very few making it out of the profession unscathed. Luckily for Wilson, now 31, she had Robin Williams looking out for her.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the former child actress described how she came to be in the family classic Mrs. Doubtfire, the movie that helped establish Williams as a family-friendly movie star.

“It was my first movie audition,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “I remember it was Valentine’s Day and I came home and my mom was on the phone saying, ‘I’m not sure, I don’t know if that’s a good idea.'”

“I remember meeting [director] Chris Columbus and Robin Williams,” Wilson continued. “But they just seemed like very nice guys to me — I didn’t understand who I was meeting.”

Wilson was cast in the movie, alongside fellow child stars Matthew Lawrence and Lisa Jakub, who played her siblings in the film.

Making a film can be a gruelling experience, especially if you’re very young, but Robin Williams, being Robin Williams, went out of his way to make sure his younger co-stars were happy.

Wilson said that, in between takes, Williams would perform a freestyle rap about the life of an ant to keep her amused.

“He used chopsticks as antennae and at the end of the scene he used them again to get me to smile,” she laughs. “They left that part in, but cut out his song and dance about it. He could really riff on anything.”

Read the full Entertainment Weekly interview with Mara Wilson here