Robin Williams’ death in August 2014, preceded by years of substance abuse and struggles with depression, devastated Hollywood and the world at large, who for decades had been infatuated with the comedian’s undeniable talent and larger-than-life personality. His daughter Zelda Williams was 26 years old when her father ended his life, and she’s kept relatively mum about the experience in the years since, at least in front of cameras. However, the actress is finally opening up about the tragedy and the simple routines that helped her cope with the loss of her dad.
“I didn’t really grow up in the spotlight — we lived in San Francisco — so for me, we were already kind of together and close,” said Williams during a recent interview on Chelsea Handler‘s Netflix talk show Chelsea. “And so I just kept going, ‘OK, well, today I’m going to get up and love what I do. And then tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be happy and love what I do. And then the next day … because that’s all you can do.”
Williams added that she kept herself preoccupied during this time, completing 12 scripts in the two years following her father’s death. This remarkable productivity, she said, came only after a period of inactivity brought on by her well-meaning friends and family.
“It was very funny because, for a while, no one would let me do anything,” she told Handler. “I think there’s that reaction of like, ‘Oh, sh*t, are you OK?’ And then even if you are OK, they’re like, ‘Well, what’s wrong?’ For awhile, I was just kind of left to my own devices.”
In addition to becoming a prolific screenwriter, Williams has also kept busy with her work on the Freeform series Dead of Summer, in which she portrays a transgender counselor at a camp plagued by supernatural forces. Sounds like just the potentially breakout, career-making role any father would be proud of.