The One Time I Met Robin Williams

What I’m sure was just another moment for him is one that I’ll cherish forever.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m still pretty emotionally shook, so this might be a little messy, but if I don’t write it now I never will.

It was earlier this year, March I think, when he was in town filming Night at the Museum 3. I was walking around downtown as I often do. When you’ve lived in Vancouver as long as I have you become accustomed to seeing celebrities around town, at least I have, and so I’ve moved past the phase where I get overly excited and ask for a photo and / or an autograph. Usually I just give a nod and say “Hey [insert celebrity name here]” as I’m walking past, and usually I’ll receive a “Hey” or a nod in return.

This was different though. This was Robin Williams. A man who captured my imagination like no other when I was just a young kid. I’ve loved Robin Williams since the first time I saw Hook back in the mid 90s, and so it was hard for me to just nonchalantly walk past. There was a slight crowd around him as you can imagine but I was determined to wait my turn and tell this man what an influence he’s been in my life. As the crowd begun to part, and I inched closer and closer to the front, I started to get equal parts nervous and excited. I started thinking about all the kind things I could say, and all the ways I could say them, and before I knew it I was at the front of the line.

There he was. His magnificent glory within reaching distance. My mind went blank and I did what felt natural: I extended my arm for a handshake and introduced myself. He smiled politely, shook my hand, and introduced himself back as if I had no idea who he was. Without thinking I started talking about Hook, how much I loved it and how it’s gotten me through some tough times, and how it’s the one movie I can go back and watch at any time and still enjoy it as much as the first time I watched it. And with a giant smile on my face I went on and on for what felt like an eternity. When I finally stopped talking he smiled back, and I’ll never forget what he said next:

Thank you for believing.

Thank you for believing. Like we’ve just been through the shit together. I get so emotional thinking about it now but it was so thrilling to me at the time. He asked me if I wanted a picture and like a fool I said no. I told him that meeting him was enough for me, and that I didn’t need a picture to remember it.

It’s crazy to me that I met this man just a few months ago and now he’s gone. What I’m sure was just another moment for him is one that I’ll cherish forever, and I’m thankful that I was able to tell him how much he meant to me before he passed.

This is a man who changed the world, and it’s a far worse place without him.

Bangarang, Mr. Williams.

Gone but not forgotten.