So far as we know, there's no biopic in the works about Robin Williams. But if there is to be one, we know who should play the late comedian: fellow funnyman Jamie Costa.
How do we know this? From Costa himself, who posted an incredible five-minute "test footage" video on his YouTube channel Monday, and it's got fans buzzing. In the video, Williams is in his colorful "Mork and Mindy" outfit (complete with rainbow suspenders) when Pam Dawber (Mindy on the show, here played by Sarah Murphree) informs him that his friend and fellow partyer John Belushi has died:
The video starts out with Costa's Williams in full spiraling Williams mode, rattling off jokes faster than anyone can absorb them, almost. Then Murphree's Dawber tells him the news.
Williams immediately gets serious. "No," he says. "I told you, I was with him. John's not dead, I was with him last night."
This is a scene more or less from real life; Williams was out partying with Belushi the night before he died, of an overdose of drugs. Dawber was the one who broke the news, as related in Dave Itzkoff's 2018 biography, "Robin."
Murphree (as Dawber) then tells Costa (as Williams) that she can't let that happen to him. Costa assures her it won't, and she adds, "Good. Because if it did, Robin, I would find you and kill you first."
Costa brightens and says, "You sounded like James Bond, just then."
Williams was 63 when he died by suicide in 2014. He was diagnosed posthumously with Lewy body dementia, which his ex-wife said may have contributed to his mental state in a 2018 documentary, "Robin's Wish."
Costa, 31, is an actor who's also become something of a YouTube star, thanks to his various appearances in fan-made films that are also part of popular franchises like "Spider-Man" and "Star Wars." He first came to mass attention as Williams in 2015 with a two-minute video, "Never Had a Friend Like Him," featuring Costa's impressions many of the "Aladdin" star's biggest characters.
Though the video is no longer available, People magazine reported the caption from Costa noted that it was "my tribute to the man whose spark ignited my passion."
For anyone wondering what Williams' children think of the video, his daughter Zelda has asked on Twitter for people to stop sending it to her. "Please, stop sending me the 'test footage'. I've seen it. Jamie is SUPER talented, this isn't against him, but y'all spamming me an impression of my late Dad on one of his saddest days is weird."
Meanwhile, the comments section of Costa's video, which as of Wednesday has amassed over 1.2 million views, has been exploding. Wrote one fan, "The little mannerisms, the looks, the from joking Robin to serious Robin in seconds is done flawlessly. I genuinely hope if a Robin Williams biopic is made that Jamie plays him because he would do if justice and with respect."
Meanwhile, Thomas Tulak (who played one of the Lost Boys in the 1991 Williams-starring "Hook") noted that he and Williams had become "good friends" while shooting the film over seven months. "This video gave me chills, and brought me to tears. For a moment it felt just like Robin himself was back. I now find myself wanting a Robin biopic more than anything, and I hope Jamie plays him."
He's certainly not alone!
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