Before commencing this morning's press conference for The Giver film Jeff Bridges took some time to talk about his friend and Fisher King co-star Robin Williams, and the surreal encounter he had with Williams' lookalike Radioman, a legendary New York figure.
Bridges described how, approaching The Giver's party at the Central Park Boathouse last night, he saw Radioman, and nearly mistook him for Williams himself. Radioman became well-known in the 1990s for frequenting film sets and developing relationships with stars. He met Williams on the set ofTerry Gilliam's 1991 film The Fisher King, as this 1996 New Yorker piece explains, and they talked regularly. Radioman has said that Williams' homeless character in that film was based on him. Bridges also has a friendship with Radioman.
"I just want to acknowledge the fullness of life, the joy and sadness that is in store for us all," began Bridges, who also spoke about Williams' death on the red carpet last night."I’m filled with both of these today as I was last night learning of my dear friend’s passing. Robin. The joyous feeling of giving birth to our child here, The Giver. And the combination is just quite remarkable."
Read the rest of Bridges' reminiscence, which he punctuated with broad gestures, here:
I remember pulling up to the Boathouse where we had our party and I’m sitting there with my wife, gathering myself and I look out of the window and I say, what? Is that Robin? Is that his ghost? No! It’s Radioman. And it brought back all of these wonderful feelings of what an amazing time we had together here in New York shooting The Fisher King. And I got out of the car and embraced Radioman, looked in his face. And I remember when we were shooting Fisher King—Radioman, he knows where all the movies are shot somehow, I don’t know how he magically does that. But, I remember seeing Radioman and he could not believe that Robin’s character was here in the flesh in reality. And there he was. And so we embraced Radioman, I felt Robin’s spirit as I’m feeling it here now in this room with us. Just before I came down I’m looking out my window to Central Park, my favorite part about New York, and I’m remember the last scene of me and Robin out there at four o’clock in the morning. Nude! Naked! And Robin’s just wild and free. He’s just, 'let the wild pony dance!' and rubbing his butt on the grass, saying, 'you know why dogs do this? Because they can!' So wild. I just had to share that with you because that’s what’s going on so strongly and how much I miss him and I’m sure you guys do too. What a gift he was to all of us.