Australian Cinematographer Don McAlpine Gives Insight on Obsessiveness of Robin Williams

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By Afza Fathima | August 14, 2014 4:11 PM EST

Don McAlpine, the veteran Australian cinematographer had worked with Robin Williams in three movies. He spoke about the obsessiveness of Robin WIlliams. 

The comedian and actor, for his character of a lovable defector to the U.S. in the drama Moscow On The Hudson, learnt how to play the saxophone and speak Russian. McAlpine said that Williams insisted on learning to play the sax for the soundtrack and was also fluent in Russian when the movie began to be shot.

Reuters
Robin Williams gestures during a panel discussion for his upcoming HBO show "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction" at the Television Critics Association Cable summer press tour in Pasadena, July 30, 2009.

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For the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, he would be obsessive about getting the perfect take and would give about 40 to 50 takes to make sure it is perfect. He would arrive at 2 am as his make-up would require 5 hours, after which he would shoot for 12 hours.

McAlpine noted that Williams was obsessed about pleasing his audience in such a way that it was "almost to a fanatic level."

Williams and McAlpine worked together in Nine Months, a romantic comedy as well. Apart from acting and being a comedian, Williams was interested in so many other things. After his performances, he'd leave behind his acting and would be a completely different character.

 McAlpine paid tribute to his obsessive genius and said, "It was a sort of madness but out of that madness came wonderful entertainment." 

Apart from McAlpine, Williams' family have released statements to the media of their loss. 

His daughter Zelda Williams said that the world, after his loss, has become a little darker, less colourful and less full of laughter. She mentioned that he was warm, even in dark moments. She feels gratitude towards all the people who have offered their condolesences and also added that despite being loved deeply, he felt the need to leave the world. She is comforted by the millions of people who understand the family's grief and loss.

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(Photo: Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)
Robin Williams gestures during a panel discussion for his upcoming HBO show "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction" at the Television Critics Association Cable summer press tour in Pasadena, July 30, 2009.
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