Social media is abuzz about a YouTube clip from actor Jamie Costa that displays his incredible Robin Williams impression — while also making a sort-of pitch for a future Williams biopic.
Called “ROBIN Test Footage Scene,” the video looks like a real scene from a real movie. The production values and camera work are pro-level, unlike most do-it-yourself YouTube shorts. There’s even an original score!
Of course, the main attraction is Costa and his spot-on impression of Williams, who died in 2014.
Based on looks alone, Costa is practically a ringer for the young Williams, who is shown below in 2007. When he starts speaking as Williams, the illusion is complete. He even gets Williams’ signature rapid-fire riffing down pat.
The “Test Footage Scene” shows Costa, as Williams, preparing to shoot an episode of “Mork and Mindy.” It’s an intense moment — a conversation with co-star Pam Dawber (played by Sarah Murphree), where she tells Williams about the sudden death of John Belushi. Williams had been hanging out with Belushi the night before.
Though he’s shocked and horrified, Williams collects himself and shifts back into comedy mode so he can get back to set.
Pretty amazing, right? It’s not just a good Williams impression, it’s some good acting in general.
Fans went crazy on Twitter, many echoing the sentiments of @CinnabonMonster below:
I am at a loss of words of how extraordinary this is.
Jamie Costa encapsulates the essence of Robin Williams so perfectly that this "fan footage" for a proposed biopic is a clear sign this truly needs to happen.https://t.co/EI14YqRhvf
— Edward Hong (@CinnabonMonster) October 12, 2021
Comments like this drove the video to nearly 5 million views and 100,000 likes within just a few days of posting.
Not everyone loved the scene, however. Pop-culture criticism site The A.V. Club felt “a bit icky” about it:
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) October 13, 2021
In the piece, Mike Schimkowitz writes that “it is very telling and a bit manipulative to use this scene for what is ostensibly an audition tape.”
There is no “ROBIN” biopic currently planned, and the apparent purpose of the vid is to suggest Costa for a future role as Williams.
Williams’s daughter, Zelda, took to Twitter to praise Costa, but also to ask folks to stop sending her the video.
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
An understandable sentiment.
We’ll see what comes of this viral sensation, but for some Williams fans, it’s just exciting to see the semblance of him one more time.