I feel heartache whenever I see or hear Robin Williams. That is quite unfortunate because I love Robin Williams. That may seem crazy to some because I did not actually know him, but it feels a bit like I did. He was an amazing actor. What put him a cut above the rest was a very unusual characteristic of his; as a man of many masks he made people feel like they were watching something true. An actors job is to take on roles and make an audience believe it. Robin went above and beyond that though. You didn’t just feel like you were watching the characters he brilliantly portrayed, you felt like you were watching HIM. He was raw whether playing a dramatic or comedic role. He did his job so well that it was as if he fused with his characters. Many of us grew up with this man making us laugh and touching our hearts. What Dreams May Come is my favorite movie. But it wasn’t just in his acting roles that he reached us, he did so in stand-up and interviews as well.
The comedy flowed out of him in natural rivers of hilarity. He was the free-style master of comedy. It was as if words poured into him from the ether in order to get the crowd roaring with amusement. As Jim Carrey has pointed out, a comedian gives the world a gift by brightening up people’s lives. It is a noble pursuit, and Williams excelled at it.
Whether being himself or playing a role, there was something special about Robin Williams eyes. His eyes appeared as wide-open windows to his soul. I think that has a lot to do with why I feel like I knew him in a way. His gaze pulled you in. It helped make him feel like America’s lovable uncle (or brother to the older generation). It feels like there is an empty space in the world where he once was. I’m not sure there is anybody who can really fill that space short of him being reincarnated. I recently read Will Smith is in negotiation to play Genie in a live-action version of Aladdin. Will Smith may be a talented actor, but he just cannot fill those shoes in my mind. I feel like putting any actor in that role might be setting him up for failure because Robin Williams cast a massive shadow.
Despite being somebody I never met, this man is truly missed. I hope that eventually I will be able to enjoy his work again without feeling sadness. Not being able to enjoy such brilliance like I used to probably makes the sadness worse. I imagine there are plenty of others in the same boat. I hope we can all get to the point of appreciating what Williams left us with without morning.