The Sweet Way Robin Williams Protected Jumanji’s Young Cast While Filming

Jumanji star Robin Williams

Despite having a resume full of incredible roles, Robin Williams is probably most famous for who he is as a person. He is regarded as one of the most heartwarming figures in modern history, either dead or alive. It has been over six years since Robin William’s devastating passing, but we are still hearing about the kind and compassionate acts he performed that made a lasting impression on those he came into contact with. It speaks to how loved Robin Williams was that years later we are hearing new stories of impact, like how he apparently protected the child stars on the set of Jumanji from Hollywood’s demanding workload.

Bradley Pierce, who stars in Jumanji alongside Kirsten Dunst and Robin Williams, recently gave an interview on CBC Listen (via People) that contained a story about Robin Williams. And it'll bring back the warm and fuzzy feeling we are all too familiar with when it comes to Williams.

Bradley Pierce talks about how the producers and director of the film wanted to keep the child stars on set over their allotted time to finish filming a scene, and save a good chunk of money in the process. The scene in question was a brutal one for the kids, as it had them in the water for about 8 hours a day. Once Robin Williams caught on to what was being discussed, he put his foot down in favor of sending the kids home and starting again on a new day. Here it is in Bradley’s own words:

Robin caught wind of these conversations happening and apparently he pulled the director and producers aside and said, 'No we're not doing any extra time. You're gonna let everyone out of the pool now and we're going to be [sic] come back next week. For all the dollars that would have cost, nobody else could have stood up the way he did. In addition to being warm and generous and kind, he was also very protective of all of us. He told everyone, 'we're done today, time to go home.'

According to Bradley Pierce in the same interview, this seemingly small kindness may have been larger than it appears. Pierce explains that by insisting the kids be sent home instead of spending more time filming in the water, Robin Williams cost the production around $100,000. Williams spoke out when not many others would, as Pierce also says that working child actors into overtime was not an uncommon practice.

It may be due to the fact that Robin Williams was already an incredibly notable actor at the time and a force to be reckoned with which gave him the confidence to speak up for the children. More likely, though, it was his unwavering ethics, desire to spread cheer to those around him, and love for children that made the situation not sit right with him. Seemingly enough to make sure it didn’t come to pass.

One thing that we have always known, and that continues to be cemented in history, is that Robin Williams was one stand up guy. Another thing we know is that we never tire of hearing stories of his greatness and we look forward to more examples coming to light.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.