Robin Williams Went Above And Beyond Behind The Scenes Of Good Will Hunting

Robin Williams was taking a chance when he signed on for "Good Will Hunting." In the 1990s, he was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. "Mrs. Doubtfire," "The Birdcage," "Jumanji," and, of course, "Aladdin" all made boatloads of cash, and he could basically do whatever film he wanted to make. He decided to hitch his wagon to two young whippersnappers named Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who wrote this movie as a star vehicle for themselves, and as it turned out, the gamble paid off. The film launched the two actors to the A-list, and Williams took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his beautiful, heartfelt performance of a therapist.

While the character of Sean Maguire does have his humorous moments, this is a fairly dramatic performance from Williams. It wasn't his first foray into the realm of the serious, but it was certainly his most successful and poignant. He was able to tap into his inner sadness and warmth in a way his more bombastic characters had not been allowed to do. Williams became a sensation because of his manic, crazed energy as a stand-up comic and on screen, and he had to rein that in more than ever before in "Good Will Hunting."

But Williams still understood he was Robin Williams. He knew the effect he had on people, and if needed, he could flip on that famous energy like a light switch. One day shooting "Good Will Hunting," a lucky group of people got to experience the full Robin Williams.

'He was a good man'

One of the major scenes in "Good Will Hunting" involves Matt Damon's and Robin Williams' characters sitting on a bench, and it is the first time the therapist really gets through to this young, troubled man. Williams delivers this incredible minutes-long monologue. If the Oscars did clips to introduce the nominees in that category that year, it probably would have been his clip. As it was, a still image from that scene was used.

Well, he did more than just perfectly perform that scene that day. As they were shooting on a campus common, there were real people everywhere just going about their days, and when they saw Williams, they were going to stop and watch. Another person just watching was Minnie Driver, who plays Damon's love interest in the film. She is not in the scene but stopped by the set to watch. Well, she and all those people got more than some beautiful scene work. Talking with Us Weekly, Driver recalled:

"[I] was watching Matt [Damon] and Ben [Affleck] shoot that park bench scene [with Williams], and it was really beautiful. He did this amazing impromptu stand-up routine to all the people eating their sandwiches on the common and people coming out of buildings because they heard he was doing this. At the end of lunch there were about 300 people. He was a good man."

Williams knew perfectly when his unique comic talents were most needed and appreciated. Whether it was entertaining a giant group of college students on the spot or calling up Steven Spielberg to cheer him up while making "Schindler's List," he put himself out there to make people laugh and forget their troubles. What a wonderful display of Williams' true humanity.