Robin Williams was the king of impersonations and voices, but Jamie Costa may be a close second. Costa has gone viral after sharing a five-minute Robin “audition clip” this week, in which he uncannily transforms into the late actor.
The clip features Costa playing Williams circa his Mork & Mindy days in 1982. In the video, he’s in his dressing room getting ready for his scenes when his co-star Pam Dawber (played here by Sarah Murphree) breaks the news that John Belushi was found dead at the Chateau Marmont. Williams had been with him hours earlier.
The scene seems to be loosely based on the 2018 biography Robin, written by Dave Itzkoff. In it, the author highlights how Williams’ last night with his friend and fellow comedian deeply affected him, and how Belushi’s death at 33 years old eventually convinced Williams to get sober.
As for Costa, well the clip highlights just how spot-on he is at impersonating Williams across the board. In just five minutes we see him utterly transform into the legend, nailing his voices and mannerisms in a comedic and dramatic way. It’s no wonder fans are petitioning for Robin to become a bona fide movie already, and for Costa to tackle the leading role.
While studio execs start crunching numbers, it’s not lost on fans that it took an entire team just to produce this video, including producers, a director of photography, writers and sound mixers. And for those taking note, the scene was directed and edited by Jake Lewis.
It definitely seems like the goal was to gain momentum for a potential film. (Fans who have seen some of Costa’s other stuff have been campaigning for this for a while). Now that the team has something down and the video is making its rounds though, we’d wager a real movie is just a matter of time.
Williams died by suicide in 2014 after battling Lewy body dementia, which was initially misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s. Earlier this year, on what would have been the actor’s 70th birthday, his son Zak opened up about his father’s struggles with depression, his medical battles, and the toll the disease took on him.
“Those drugs are no joke. They’re also really hard on the mind and the body,” Zak said, adding that the disease made it challenging for his father to perform his craft.
“Lightning-quick recall — that was his signature… I couldn't help but feel beyond empathy,” he continued. “I couldn't help but feel frustrated for him. It can be really isolating even when you're with family and loved ones.”
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