Pierce Brosnan recalls his first meeting with Robin Williams while filming Mrs. Doubtfire. Directed by Chris Columbus, the 1993 comedy classic Mrs. Doubtfire was based on a 1987 novel by Anne Fine titled Alias Madame Doubtfire. In the film, Williams starred in the lead role as Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire, a voice actor reeling from his divorce who decides to dress as a female housekeeper in order to spend more time with his children. Set in San Francisco, the film also stars Sally Field as Daniel’s ex-wife and Brosnan as Fields’ love interest.
Despite its bizarre premise, Mrs. Doubtfire became one of the top-grossing comedies of all time and an example of Williams’ lasting legacy since the actor’s death in 2014. Williams continues to be remembered for his impeccable comedic instincts, endless energy, and kindness, and truly embodied each role he played. Mara Wilson and Lisa Jakub, who played Williams’ onscreen daughters in Mrs. Doubtfire, have shared heartwarming stories about working with the legendary actor, and now Brosnan adds an amusing anecdote of his own.
While breaking down his iconic roles in a video for GQ, Brosnan spoke about his time on the set of Mrs. Doubtfire, acting alongside Williams. He tells a hilarious story about his first meeting with the star of the film. Read it below:
“I was so thrilled to be working with him, and Sally Field. I remember going up to San Francisco the first day. I went into the makeup trailer, and Robin was there. He had a Hawaiian shirt on, big hairy arms and cargo pants, hairy legs. But he had the head of Mrs. Doubtfire. [Chuckles, imitates Williams] ‘Oh, hello Pierce. Ooh, you’re very handsome, ooh, give us a kiss! Oooh!’ [Deepens voice] ‘Hey there, buddy. Nice to see you, glad you came up.’ [As himself] ‘Hello Robin, how are you man?’ [As Williams] ‘Oh, I’m good, man. Been here for hours.’ I would go to work, and I worked every day on that movie, and I was always working with, you know, Mrs. Doubtfire. It wasn’t ’til the end of the movie that I met Robin.”
According to Brosnan, Williams fully committed to the role of Mrs. Doubtfire, staying in character on and off-camera. Brosnan’s comments are in line with the many stories Williams’ co-stars have previously shared about his wit and effusiveness, and it’s a treat to hear Brosnan’s deadpan take on their first meeting. The image the James Bond actor paints of Williams is a hilarious way to remember the great comedian, and his dedication to the bit shared by Brosnan is the cherry on top. Clearly, Williams had a lot of fun in the absurd role, but he crucially also managed to find humanity, truly touching audiences by the end of the film. Williams was known for his skill in finding the heart in each of his roles, and as a result, his legacy is truly unique.
Brosnan’s story about his first time meeting Williams will likely bring a smile to the faces of many, and it’s a credit to Williams’ comedic chops that his ridiculous first impression on Brosnan was so memorable. Though Mrs. Doubtfire performed well and has even spawned a stage adaptation, Columbus has previously stated that he would never consider doing a sequel to the film without Williams. Based on Brosnan’s anecdote about how fully Williams embraced the role, it’s easy to understand why. Luckily, audiences can always rewatch the one-of-a-kind comedy