Although they first worked together over 20 years ago when she was only a tiny kid, Wilson says she has countless invaluable memories of the late actor.
"He always reminded me a little of my father," Wilson begins. "Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing and brilliant. While it can be hard for me to remember filming Doubtfire, I've been flooded with memories in the past few days. It's humbling to know I am one of the few people who was there for these moments, that he's no longer around to share them."
"He was a creator as much as a performer," she went on. "After one of my friends posted Robin's ‘impression of a hot dog' on Facebook, I realized she had no idea that wasn't in the script. It was supposed to be a monologue where he listed every voice he could do, but he decided to take the ones he'd been given, add more of his own, and just riff for a while. Chris Columbus, our director, would let Robin perform one or two takes with what was written, then do as many more takes as Robin had variations. Sometimes I wonder why they didn't give him at least partial screenwriting credit."
The next time Wilson saw Williams was several years later at a table read for his movie What Dreams May Come. "Robin was so on so much of the time that I was surprised to hear my mother describe him as ‘shy,'" she wrote, adding of her table read encounter with the late Oscar winner, "Robin crossed to me from across the room, got down to my level, and whispered 'Hi, how are you?' He asked how my family was doing, how school was, never raising his voice and only sometimes making eye contact. He seemed so vulnerable. 'So this is what Mom meant,' I thought. It was as if I was seeing him for the first time. He was a person now."
Wilson says she only crossed paths with Williams one more time after she quit acting and was studying at NYU. "I had thought maybe the next time I saw Robin I would explain myself to him, let him know that I had loved working with him but didn't feel like we could do it again, and that being in major studio films again meant a level of scrutiny I didn't think I could deal with," she remembers. "I wanted to apologize and know he understood. It hurts to know I can't."
"In the past few days I have said ‘thanks' and ‘I love you' to so many people. I'm fortunate to know people who care and have been so good to me, and it's heartening to know there are so many people who will miss Robin, too," Wilson concluded. "I heard about his death from a comedian friend, and got the specifics from my brother Danny. Both had reasons to love him, and I was glad I heard about it from them rather than the internet. Though once I got on Facebook that night, I was immediately overwhelmed with how many people had kind words to say about him. Many of my friends are comedians who were inspired by him, but others just loved his movies and comedy and had since their childhoods. If you can affect someone when they're young, you are in their heart forever. It is remarkable how many lives Robin touched, and how many people said, just as I had, that he reminded them of their fathers. I suppose—could I really end this any other way?—we're all his goddamn kids, too."