Zelda Williams asks fans to stop sending her the ‘ROBIN’ test footage
Last week, actor Jamie Costa posted a five-minute video entitled “ROBIN Test Footage Scene” wherein he impersonates the late comedian Robin Williams. The screen test was uploaded on YouTube but has since been deleted. However, another channel managed to get the five-minute video and reuploaded it on YouTube.
In the five-minute footage, Jamie Costa plays as Robin Williams on the set of Mork & Mindy. The scene is set on March 5, 1982, the day after the death of Williams’ friend and fellow comedian John Belushi, who died of an overdose.
Williams’ co-star on the set, Pam Dawber (portrayed by Sarah Murphree in the video) breaks the news of Belushi’s death to Williams, who is visibly shocked and devastated. Williams is in utter disbelief, saying that Belushi was just with him the previous night. It is then revealed that Belushi’s overdose happened just a few hours after his hang-out with Williams.
The test footage went viral, with many commending Costa for his acting and his impersonation of Williams, saying that the five-minute video is “Oscar-worthy.” Some have even clamored to have the test footage be made into a Robin Williams biopic.
I’d never heard of Jamie Costa until I watched this screen test footage of him doing an impression of Robin Williams so good I could see him picking up an Oscar #RobinWilliams #JamieCosta pic.twitter.com/SZ0gHbhmUf
— Tootsie (@ArtbyTootsie) October 13, 2021
That Jamie Costa “ROBIN Test Footage Scene” on YouTube is phenomenal. Whenever I unexpectedly hear Robin Williams voice it gets me right to the pit of my stomach. This made me tear up! 😩 Jamie Costa deserves an award for this 5 minute clip alone. #RobinWilliams #JamieCosta pic.twitter.com/JyMDXq9J1Q
— RoyHBT (@RoyHBT) October 13, 2021
— Spiderboy (@Spiderb04755724) October 13, 2021
However, there were also others who reacted against the test footage, as it was an insensitive move to reenact one of the saddest days of a person’s life.
this is EXTREMELY uncomfortable to watch and it feels incredibly cynical and careerist to do an impression of a real person from a really sad day in their life and present it as a "screen test" for a movie that doesn't even exist? https://t.co/Dra8aUzacq
— bethany 👻 (@fiImgal) October 14, 2021
The only thing I’m gonna say about that Robin Williams fake ‘test footage’ stuff that was basically an actor’s inappropriate self promo is that maybe folks should stop treating dead folks who struggled with mental illness as ‘future roles to to be acted in’.
— ⚡Indiana Tan is…Mr. Mask! (@itsmrmask) October 14, 2021
Can everyone stop praising that Robin Williams "test footage"? Because it's really distasteful and exploits the real life deaths of Williams and also John Belushi. Just look at this clip from it, it's fucking gross pic.twitter.com/UQjiLK2GVM
— jeremy. (@jeremylovesyall) October 14, 2021
The test footage was taken down, but not before people on the internet managed to forward the footage to Williams’ daughter Zelda.
Zelda also was not happy with the test footage, though she clarified that she had nothing against Costa. She went on Twitter to ask people to stop sending her the video because it was “weird” to send her an impression of her late father on what she said was “one of his saddest days.”
Guys, I’m only saying this because I don’t think it’ll stop until I acknowledge it… 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.
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) October 12, 2021
Famous for his comedic expressions and brilliant impersonations, Robin Williams was loved by many. So while Zelda expressed her discomfort upon seeing the test footage, some fans commented that perhaps the test footage was meant to be a tribute of sorts to her late father and not a cruel and insensitive impersonation of him.
A fan responded to Zelda with: “Maybe it’s not meant to be cruel or rude. Or promote sadness. A lot of us regular people loved your Dad, for many, many, reasons. If that clip stops one person from doing drugs, I say it’s a win/win. Love and light to you.”
Maybe it’s not meant to be cruel or rude. Or promote sadness. A lot of us regular people loved your Dad, for many, many, reasons. If that clip stops one person from doing drugs, I say it’s a win/win. Love and light to you. ❤️🙏🏻
— Laura Starr (@LauraAnnRichele) October 15, 2021
Zelda responded to the fan: “I said nothing about cruel or rude. The clip made me uncomfy so I was asking kindly for folks to stop sending it to me over and over. Your love for Dad doesn’t mean I have to tolerate being bombarded in silence, and being projected upon can be pretty exhausting some days.”
I said nothing about cruel or rude. The clip made me uncomfy so I was asking kindly for folks to stop sending it to me over and over. Your love for Dad doesn’t mean I have to tolerate being bombarded in silence, and being projected upon can be pretty exhausting some days. https://t.co/l0hafSHrAo
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) October 15, 2021
Robin Williams took his own life in 2014 after suffering from Lewy body dementia. Zelda is one of Williams’ three children. She has paid tribute to her late father on several occasions, such as sharing heartwarming photos of him on social media that she had discovered while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.