I assume by now you’ve seen the YouTube video labeled “ROBIN Test Footage Scene” created by an actor named Jamie Costa, whose main credit seems to be a resemblance to Robin Williams. The scene appears to be an unsolicited audition for a nonexistent Robin Williams biopic. In it, Costa portrays Williams learning John Belushi has died.
It is a heart-wrenching scene strategically designed to trigger sadness about several different things at once: John Belushi dying; Robin Williams being sad because of John Belushi dying; Robin Williams being dead now, too; Robin Williams pulling it together with his signature charisma while still being sad then and, at present, dead. Costa’s resemblance and impression are, indeed, unnervingly accurate. The “test footage” was created and released seemingly so people on the Internet would share it and say “make this into a biopic and cast this guy as Robin Williams in it,” which has proved to be a good tactic as people on the Internet have done and said this, in great numbers.
They have also sent it, in great numbers, to Robin Williams’s daughter, Zelda, who has politely asked them to stop:
Indeed, it is weird. The whole thing is absolutely weird. It is obviously weird to send video of an imitation of a dead person to the daughter of the person being imitated, and it’s also weird to pitch a film to the social media masses with little more than a natural likeness and practiced imitation. It is weird to exploit the sadness around the loss of a beloved public figure, without familial consent, in a misguided attempt to force the hand of the industry. It is weird to use a grim scene to do so. It is weird to title the video “test footage.” It is weird to think that this is actually going to lead to you starring in a biopic about Robin Williams.
This guy definitely knows how to pretend to be the version of Robin Williams the rest of us have seen in TV and movies; that is for sure. Maybe he could use his talents to re-enact the restaurant scene from Mrs. Doubtfire — that’s just good clean fun for everyone, and not weird in a bad way. Or maybe he should just stop.
Either way, “best of luck” to him (sarcastic).