Robin Williams is one of the most cherished actors of my childhood, thanks to his comic performances from Jumanji and Jack. Since today, 21/7/2015, is the first birthday after his passing and as a fan, I feel responsible to make a tribute for him. I’ll be doing two articles on behalf of his contributions, and this one will be in regards to his amazing skill of improvisation.
It’s a director’s dream to have an actor who has a spontaneous reaction to different situations. We call them improvisations, while the director calls them relief. It gives them a scope to provide improvement over the material, at the same time it is challenging for them to provide actors such a level of freedom.
Now, we have seen some brilliant improvisations…
Some insanely genius ones....
And, some not so good ones...
Now, when it comes to Mr. Williams, almost everything he did was spectacular. His comic range is famous, so it’s not that much of a surprise for some of his movies. But, for some other roles, what he provided wasn’t just a moment of smile. They involved hope, love and regret. Let’s take a look at the 5 best improvised movie moments by Robin Williams and see how he created a river of emotions from a few unscripted lines of dialogues…
This Francis Ford Coppola movie is a light-hearted comedy about a child who appears to have some physical disorder which makes him grow at an incredibly rapid pace. In short, Jack is a boy who studies in 4th grade and happens to have the physical appearance of a 40 year old. Even though Jack was a box-office bomb, Williams gave a solid performance in the title role, with some ad-libbing here and there. Most of it was noteworthy, not just because they were unscripted, but because of the way Williams delivered it.
Good Morning, Vietnam
“Gooooood Morrrrrrrning Vietnaaaam….!!!”.
Can you believe that was 100% Robin Williams? Another incredible performance from Williams in this biopic about the real-life Broadcaster Adrian Cronauer, Williams did most of the broadcasts himself, ad-libbing every single line. The energy he brought to those broadcasts was a valuable asset for the whole movie, and this shows how versatile this man is when it comes to acting. Even with the comic validity of the script, the underlying tension of the war front was brilliantly presented by Williams through his acting as well as his voice….
Directed by Chris Columbus, this family drama focuses on a father who is willing to take any risk to be with his children during a divorce. Mrs. Doubtfire is so much fun and there is particularly one scene where Williams' cooking leads to a string of accidental events. There were some technical errors and discomforts for Williams, but he stayed in character and just went with it. It turned out to be one of the best scenes in the whole movie, and this shows how much of a dedicated actor he is….
Aladdin was actually never considered for best adapted screenplay in the Oscars, because it turned out that Williams actually improvised the major parts of his dialogues by himself. It was pure Williams magic and an energetic performance on his part. Disney’s Genie is a quirky character, even though the original story features a mature one, and who else would be better fit to voice a character such that, other than Williams? Creating a certain aura of affection over the whole character, Williams made Genie one of the memorable animated characters ever. Well, it’s the Academy’s loss….
Good Will Hunting
A man speaks about how his wife woke up their dog by farting!!! At first, it’s a comic moment about how he simplifies imperfections. This simple joke goes deep underneath the laughs when we see the sad face of the man. He describes his wife with one of her imperfection, yet he cherishes that moment. He lives with them, even though how trivial they are. It shows how much he loves her, how much he misses her and how much he wants her. To know that Williams improvised these lines makes me respect that man even more.
A stand-up comedian is enough to make us laugh, but we need Robin Williams to make us laugh, think and shed a few tears all at the same time….
Happy Birthday to the man who was a huge part of my childhood.