Sam Neill Calls Robin Williams ‘The Saddest Person I’ve Ever Met’
We never thought that any part of the 1999 big-budget sci-fi flop Bicentennial Man would ever make us feel anything other than tired, but, sadly, here we are.
In his recently released memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?, New Zealand actor and Jurassic Park star Sam Neill reflected on his time working with the incomparable and deeply missed Robin Williams on the Chris Columbus film. In recounting his time with the late comedian, Neill revealed something that seems tremendously apparent to anyone familiar with Williams, calling the comic “irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny.”
Despite that radiant humor, however, Williams struggled with depression and addiction throughout his storied career before he took his own life in 2014 while facing the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy body dementia. Neill writes that he noticed Williams’ struggles long before they were a part of the public discourse of the comedian and his legacy, calling him “the saddest person I ever met.”
“He had fame, he was rich, people loved him, great kids — the world was his oyster,” Neill wrote of Williams in an excerpt obtained by Deadline. “And yet I felt more sorry for him than I can express. He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet.” Neill recalled long conversations he had with Williams in each others’ trailers during the shooting of Bicentennial Man, saying that, despite Williams’ boundless humor and affability, he was “inconsolably solitary and deeply depressed.”
Though Neill saw Williams’ inner pain, he said that, while Williams was with company, “Funny stuff just poured out of him. And everybody was in stitches, and when everybody was in stitches, you could see Robin was happy.”
Unfortunately, in Neill’s estimation at least, those moments were all too fleeting.