Robin Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire Disguise Even Had His Co-Stars Fooled

In "Mrs. Doubtfire," Robin Williams plays a newly-divorced actor who disguises himself as an elderly but spry female housekeeper to get employed in his family home. As Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel Hillard (Williams) can still interact with his children on a daily basis, despite his wife getting sole custody of them. The touching film addresses the themes of divorce and separation and its influence on a family and young children, not to mention the endless love of a desperate father who will go to any length to spend time with his kids.

It's an understatement to say that Robin Williams was a man of many talents — he could easily switch between comedic and dramatic roles, and he left a lasting impact on the field of voice acting. As one of Hollywood's most prominent improvisers, he has created characters in the spur of a moment and ad-libbed through some of the most memorable movie scenes. In "Mrs. Doubtfire," his transformation into a female housekeeper was so convincing that the actor had his co-stars fooled — one of them even thought him to be the mother of director Chris Columbus!

Robin Williams fooled Lisa Jakub completely

The 1993 film has its fair share of emotional moments, but it's particularly memorable for being full of laughs. Canadian writer and former actress Lisa Jakub, who played daughter Lydia Hillard, shared a hilarious story with The Chicago Tribune from her days auditioning for "Mrs. Doubtfire."

Jakub, who was 15 at the time, arrived to audition for a part in the film as the oldest sibling in the Hillard family. When she was introduced to a Scottish woman, Jakub believed her to be the mother of director Chris Columbus. The young actress revisited her initial thoughts on meeting the matronly woman, stating that she wanted to make a good impression on her. Jakub didn't have the slightest idea that it was actually Robin Williams in his disguise for the movie. The actress recalled:

"I remember being introduced to Chris Columbus' mother and thinking I had to really make small talk and be charming because this was my boss' mom," said Jakub, who was 14 when she made the film. "I wanted to make a good impression. It wasn't until later that I realized [it was Williams]. I totally fell for it."

She wasn't the only one fooled by the revered comedian.

'She's got everything'

Matthew Lawrence, then 12 years old, portrayed middle sibling Chris Hillard in the film, and he soon realized that something strange was going on at the movie set. But Williams had him fooled in the beginning as well! Williams' performance and the amazing makeup job fooled the young actor for a few moments. Lawrence remembered:

"I started to catch on because I was a working kid. But definitely for two or three minutes I was sitting next to Mrs. Doubtfire and I had no idea [it was Williams]. I think they didn't tell me that the cameras were rolling, and they just had us sit down. I think they just wanted to get our natural kids' reactions."

Lawrence's reaction to Williams dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire got him the job. In fact, it was the actor himself who decided Lawrence was perfect for playing his on-screen son, and they quickly improvised a scene for the audition that charmed everyone present. Lawrence explained:

"Robin basically got me the role. He leaned over me and said 'I really like you. I want you to play my son, so you got to work with me on this one. I'm going to do something, just go with it" He turned his back to the camera and just pinched me so hard, right in that sensitive spot between your arm and your chest. My reaction was a normal reaction — 'Hey, you can't do that. You just hurt me. What are you doing?”' That was the moment that got me the role The fact that I reacted that way to Mrs. Doubtfire was what they were looking for, and Robin knew that."

Williams' transformation into Mrs. Doubtfire was aided by makeup artist Ve Neill, who is renowned for her work on "The Hunger Games" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." It took her four and a half hours (via Buzzfeed) to apply the makeup every single day, and her efforts earned her the Academy Award for "Best Makeup" that year.

It has been 29 years since "Mrs. Doubtfire" hit theaters. The comedy presented the perfect opportunity for Robin Williams to demonstrate his humorous side, but behind its punchlines and convincing cross-dressing lies a dark and cold reality that many face in divorce and separation, making for an emotional story that any family can enjoy.