Robin Williams' co-star reveals unique 'coping mechanism' actor had to help him get through roles
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Over the course of his wildly successful career, Robin Williams was famous for his zany characters, sharp sense of humour, and larger-than-life personality.
But behind it all, the actor was actually terribly shy - though you wouldn't realise it unless you knew him very well.
Pierce worked opposite Williams on the film for six months, and was enamoured with the comedy legend right away.
But it wasn't until the two really got to know each other that Pierce realised there was a man hiding behind the mask.
Speaking about his time on set with Williams, Pierce told Get 2 the Podcast: "What was wonderful about working with him for those six months was: at the beginning he was Robin Williams, he was the character that everybody knows, always doing different characters, always on, always Mr Funny Guy.
"But by the end of it, I really got to know who the man behind Robin Williams was."
The former child star continued: "He actually had said that Robin Williams never meets anybody.
"That's what the characters are there for. He's actually very shy.
"And so, his coping mechanism is to have these characters meet new people.
"Over time, it was less of these characters and more of the real him, which was very cool."
Elsewhere in the interview, Pierce talked about how Williams turned one of the toughest moments on the film into one of his fondest memories.
Pierce, who was 12 at the time of filming, has spoken before about how difficult it was to work - and just generally be comfortable - in the monkey makeup he had to wear for certain scenes. But his co-star, who has experience with heavy movie makeup, was able to help him through it.
"It was probably day three or day four of me in the monkey makeup," Pierce recalled.
"And he came and he hung out and sat in the makeup chair next to where I was sitting.
"This was two hours before his call time, I would guess. He didn't have to be there."
Pierce went on: "I was always the first there because it took three and a half hours to put that on.
"He came in early one day just to sit in the chair next to me and talk to me about his experiences on Mrs Doubtfire and how he related to how tough it is to wear the makeup and some of his tricks to deal with it.
"That was one of those moments that he took on kind of a fatherly role, that mentorship."