Jeff Bridges remembers Robin Williams and ‘The Fisher King’

NEW YORK – People gathered Tuesday morning at a hotel on Central Park South to listen to the cast and crew of The Weinstein Company's upcoming film, “The Giver,” talk about the production. The new film, however, was not the first thing discussed.

After a brief introduction of the panel, the floor was turned over to one of the film's stars and a producer on the project, Jeff Bridges. The actor wanted to begin the day by taking a minute to discuss the great loss the entertainment world felt yesterday with the death of Robin Williams. 

Bridges and Williams appeared together in Terry Gilliam's 1991 film “The Fisher King.” Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for the movie, and the film received four other nominations as well, winning one Oscar (Mercedes Ruehl for Supporting Actress).

“I just want to acknowledge the fullness of life, the joy and the sadness that is in store for us all,” Bridges began. “I'm filled with both of them today, as I was last night learning of my dear friend”s passing, Robin,” he explained, noting his happiness that this new movie was coming out, a project he has worked on for nearly two decades, and his sadness at the death of a colleague, friend and one-time co-star.

Bridges discussed seeing Radioman (the real-life individual on whom Williams' “Fisher King” character is based) outside the party for “The Giver” the previous night. At first he thought it might have been Williams' ghost there outside the party, but he dismissed the notion and embraced Radioman. “I felt Robin's spirit, as I'm feeling him now in this room with us.”

The actor went on to talk about filming his final scene with Williams in “The Fisher King” at 4am in Central Park and being out there, “nude,” and how Williams was “just wild and free and he says, 'Let the wild pony dance! And he's rubbing his butt on the grass like this [Bridges moves a little to indicate what he means] and he says, 'You know why dogs do this? Because they can!'”

“I just had to share that with you because that's what's going on,” Bridges said. He closed by noting how much he misses Williams: “What a gift he was to all of us.”