Jumanji is, without question, a Christmas movie. Therefore, you should watch it (the original, not the sort-of sequels… or Zathura: A Space Adventure) this holiday season, and when you do, be sure to remember this story about Robin Williams.
In a recent interview with CBCListen, actor Bradley Pierce, who played Peter in the fantasy-adventure film, recalled how Williams came to his and Kristen Dunst’s defense when producers wanted to film longer than they were (legally) allowed to.
“We were filming the monsoon scene and I think it was day seven or eight in that rain tank,” he said. “We were all in wetsuits, but spending eight hours in the water was really draining. It was coming to the end of the day, and children on set can only be on set for a certain number of hours. Producers approached our parents and said, ‘We’ve only got a half hour left of shooting, is there anyway we can do a little bit of overtime just to get it done?'” It would have saved money to shoot the scene then, but Williams recognized that the children’s’ well-being was more important than a studio saving some dough:
“Robin caught wind of these conversations happening and apparently he pulled the director and producers aside and said, ‘No we’re not doing any extra time. You’re gonna let everyone out of the pool now and we’re going to be come back next week.’ For all the dollars that would have cost, nobody else could have stood up the way he did,” Pierce said. “In addition to being warm and generous and kind, he was also very protective of all of us. He told everyone, ‘we’re done today, time to go home.'”
Jumanji came out in 1995, three years after Aladdin. I don’t know about you, but if I was a kid in 1995 (which I was), I can’t think of anything cooler than the Genie speaking up on my behalf. I hope he did it in the Rodney Dangerfield voice.