Robin Williams was emotionally “crumbling” while filming his final movie, 2014’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” according to the film’s director, Shawn Levy.
“I would say a month into the shoot, it was clear to me — it was clear to all of us on that set — that something was going on with Robin,” Levy told “Entertainment Tonight” before the release of “Robin’s Wish,” a documentary chronicling the comedic actor’s final months before he committed suicide in August 2014.
“We saw that Robin was struggling in a way that he hadn’t before to remember lines and to combine the right words with the performance,” Levy said. “When Robin would call me at 10 at night, at two in the morning, at four in the morning, saying, ‘Is it usable? Is any of this usable? Do I suck? What’s going on?’ I would reassure him. And so I said, ‘You are still you. I know it. The world knows it. You just need to remember that.’ ”
Prolific TV producer and writer David E. Kelley, who created Williams’ 2013-2014 series “The Crazy Ones,” added his own insight in the trailer: “It was something eroding within him.”
At the time of his death at age 63, Williams was, unbeknownst to him, battling diffuse Lewy body dementia, an incurable disease that impairs the brain’s function.
The documentary is a collaboration between filmmaker Tylor Norwood and Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider Williams.
“My faith in him never left, but I saw his morale crumbling,” Levy said of the “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Mork & Mindy” star. “I saw a guy who wasn’t himself and he thought that was unforgivable.”
Williams, a two-time Emmy winner and four-time Oscar nominee, won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 1998’s “Good Will Hunting.” In 2005 he was presented with the Golden Globe honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Last week, Williams’ 31-year-old daughter, Zelda, marked her father’s death by taking a break from social media in order to avoid processing messages of support.
“As always, I will not be here,” she posted on social media before the 6-year anniversary of her father’s death. “It’s hard for me on regular, good days to remain the person expected to graciously accept the world’s need to share their memories of him and express their condolences for his loss.” She added that while she is “touched” by the “boundless continued love” for her dad, she sometimes feels “emotionally buried under a pile of other’s memories instead of my own.”
Zelda added, “After all, even roses by the truckload weigh a ton.”
“Robin’s Wish” will be released on-demand Sept. 1.