Jumanji child actor explains how Robin Williams defended him and Kirsten Dunst on set

Tom Fenton

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Jumanji child actor explains how Robin Williams defended him and Kirsten Dunst on set

Featured Image Credit: llstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/Sony

Tributes have been flooding in on the eighth anniversary of actor Robin Williams' death, who died on 11 August 2014.

The star of Mrs Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting and countless other Hollywood films was beloved by the entertainment industry - and by his millions of fans around the world.

One of his most loved movies was 1995 blockbuster Jumanji, where the one-time comedian co-starred alongside Bonnie Hunt and Jonathan Hyde.

However, the movie also featured cameos from child actors like Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce.

In a 2020 interview, Pierce, who is now 39, revealed how the legendary film star stepped in to defend him on the set on Jumanji when producers were demanding too much of the child actors.

“I couldn’t breathe through my nose,” he told CBCListen at a special event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the hit film.

Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst and Robin Williams in Jumanji. Credit: Sony
Bradley Pierce, Kirsten Dunst and Robin Williams in Jumanji. Credit: Sony

Pierce added that the shoot – which lasted over a week – 'was really draining for everybody', and left him and Dunst 'tired'.

“Children can only be on set for a number of hours... the producers had approached our parents and said, ‘Is there any way we can do a bit of overtime to get it done?'"

"That’s not uncommon at all in the industry because it literally saves $100,000 [£73,000] plus to do that extra half hour rather than a whole day.”

According to the former child actor, Williams 'caught wind of these conversations' and immediately 'pulled the director [Joe Johnston] and producers aside' to tell them that wouldn’t be happening.

“For all the dollars that would have cost, nobody would have stood up the way he did," Pierce added.

"In addition to being warm, generous and kind, he was also very protective".

Meanwhile, two of Williams' children also posted touching messages about their late father on social media earlier this week.


On Thursday (11 August), his son Zak marked the anniversary with an emotional post on Twitter.

“Dad, on the eighth anniversary of your passing, I’m remembering how incredibly kind and joyful you were,” the mental health campaigner wrote.

“I deeply miss you you wonderful, hairy man and will be celebrating your life today. Love you so so much!”

Williams took his own life at the age of 63 following an incorrect Parkinson's diagnosis, having also suffered from depression and anxiety for much of his adult life.

His daughter Zelda penned her own tribute, while also sharing a list of suicide prevention resources.

“I don’t ask for much, but if I may, be gentle to your hearts today. I know I’m trying," she wrote.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123

Topics: Film & TV, Robin Williams, Film and TV, Entertainment

Tom Fenton
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