The premature death of actor and comedian Robin Willams has shocked the world and left many asking, ‘How could the man who made others laugh have been so overwhelmed with sadness?’
AUDIO: Hear comedian and filmmaker Gary Eck share his personal experience of working with Robin Williams.
Update your browser or Flash plugin
Robin Williams was a unique talent in the world of comedy and Hollywood. He had an exceptional ability to ad-lib comedy and starred in a string of hit movies in the 80s and 90s, from Good Morning Vietnam, to Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting and Mrs Doubtfire, to name just a few.
One of his more recent projects was as the voice of Lovelace on Happy Feet One & Two.
Aussie comedian and filmmaker Gary Eck was one of the co-writers and voiceover artists who worked with Robin Williams in Sydney.
They spent several weeks in the voiceover booth together, allowing Eck to see Williams both when he was performing and in his quieter moments.
Eck says working with Williams was an amazing experience. “We were sitting there thinking, ‘What gold can Robin Williams come up with today?’”
“I was completely stunned at how he could do rhyming couplets. You’d throw him a word and he’d turn it into this poem. He’d have everyone in stitches.”
While his performances were always energised, Gary Eck also said there were times when he saw a sadness in Robin William’s face, something he often sees in other comics when they’re not performing. “There’s this vulnerability to him. It’s something deep inside, but I think that’s what makes him so amazing, so interesting and such a great actor, because he brings that vulnerability and unpredictability to his performance.”
“A lot of performers, a lot of actors and comedians are like that,” Gary says. “They’re constantly doubting themselves, but in a way that’s what keeps you sharp.”
At one stage, Robin Williams even came to one of Gary Eck’s stand-up comedy shows, taking to the stage and performing a 35 minute impromptu set, a moment Gary describes as one of the biggest moments of his comedy career.
“He was one of the few comedians that have travelled over to dramatic acting and done it really well,” Gary observes.