As far as anyone seems to know, there’s no Robin Williams biopic on the way, but that might not remain the case for long. A scene that actor Jamie Costa is calling “test footage” of himself as Robin Williams is absolutely blowing people away. After a minute, you’ll forget it’s an impersonation.
Posted to Jamie Costa’s YouTube channel, Robin a 5 minute scene is set in the heyday of Robin Williams’ career, when he was playing an intergalactic import on the ABC sitcom Mork & Mindy. The scene opens with Williams, played by Costa, in his trailer and getting ready for the day’s filming. Sarah Murphee plays Pam Dawber — who was the Mindy half of Mork & Mindy — who arrives to deliver devastating news. Saturday Night Live star and Williams’ friend John Belushi has died. The scene gives Costa the opportunity to offer us a surprising range of the late actor in a short amount of time. We see him hammered by the grief of Belushi’s loss, and then witness him use his legendary sense of humor to rally and prepare for the day’s work. You can watch the clip below.
Along with Costa’s stunning impersonation of Robin Williams, his wardrobe is perfect. From the trademark rainbow suspenders to Mork’s red and silver spaceman outfit, the production is impeccable. It would seem unthinkable for any producers or studio executives who have seen Robin to not consider the idea of recruiting Costa for a major motion picture. There’s no news about it yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.
When Costa acts as if Williams is in denial over Belushi’s death and keeps insisting to Dawber “He’s not dead. I was with him,” the dialogue is accurate, at least as far as Williams being with Belushi. Along with former The Band back-up singer Catherine Evelyn Smith and actor Robert De Niro, Robin Williams was one of a number of celebrities who visited John Belushi the day he died of a drug overdose in March 1982. Belushi had reportedly managed to stay clean from drugs for a while, but fell off the wagon hard while filming the 1981 black comedy Neighbors.
Of course, it’s impossible to not feel a sharp twinge of heartache when Dawber insists that something similar can never happen to Robin Williams. The beloved actor and comedian took his own life in August 2014. While, unlike Belushi, Williams was reportedly drug and alcohol free at the time of his death, a month earlier he had checked into a rehab facility after relapsing. It’s difficult to not draw parallels between the two. While Williams enjoyed a longer life and a more prolific career, few would argue with the notion that both Williams and Belushi died before their time.
While he was still with us, Robin Williams worked hard to make a positive impact on younger actors’ careers. For example, last month Matt Damon revealed that Williams played an integral role in his career. While they were filming Good Will Hunting in Boston, Williams made a point to introduce Damon and Ben Affleck to Steven Spielberg who was in town working on a scene for Amistad. Because of that introduction, Spielberg cast Damon in the eponymous role of his 1998 war epic Saving Private Ryan.
Along with Robin, you can watch Jamie Costa’s other videos — including other great celebrity impressions — on his YouTube Channel. Among other things, you can watch him in the Star Wars fan films Kenobi and Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade.