Since his passing in 2014, many people have been missing Robin Williams’ energy and presence. The legendary actor has left a legacy that no one would dare to touch, except perhaps one impressionist, Jamie Costa.
The 31-year-old actor has been doing Robin Williams impressions for years, but his latest “test footage” posted on YouTube may be his best one yet. Costa portrayed him so perfectly that fans are calling for a full biopic of the late star. So far, his video has garnered over 3.4 million views!
The scene was set on March 5, 1982, and based on the details of Dave Itzkoff’s biography “Robin,” which depicted the moment he found out that his dear friend, SNL legend John Belushi, passed away that morning from a drug overdose. He was only 33.
As the story goes, Williams learned of Belushi’s death from his “Mork & Mindy” co-star Pam Dawber, played by Sarah Murphree in the five-minute film.
The scene shows Murphee (as Dawber) interrupting Costa (as Williams) while rattling off his Mork lines in his makeup chair. Williams, who had been partying with Belushi the night before, couldn’t believe what he just heard.
“No, I told you, I was with him. John’s not dead, I was with him last night,” he insisted.
Murphee then tells Costa that she can’t let that happen to him. Costa assures her it won’t, and Murphee says, “Good. Because if it did, Robin, I would find you and kill you first.”
Costa smiles for a moment and says, “You sounded like James Bond, just then.”
A knock at the door reminds them both that they need to get back on the set. Costa’s Williams, visibly distressed, goes back to practicing his lines, this time with a crack in his voice.
Costa’s uncanny depiction had fans calling for him to star in a movie about Williams, who took his own life in 2014 at the age of 63. He was diagnosed posthumously with Lewy body dementia, which the actor’s ex-wife said may have contributed to his declining mental state in a 2018 documentary, “Robin’s Wish.”
Costa has been slowly gaining fame, thanks to his appearances in fan-made films that are also part of popular franchises like “Star Wars” and “Spider-Man.” He first came into the spotlight in 2015 with the video “Never Had a Friend Like Him,” which features his impressions of Williams’ most beloved characters.
The said video is no longer available, but People magazine reported that it was Costa’s “tribute to the man whose spark ignited my passion.”
Since the test footage went viral, people have wondered what Williams’ children thought of the video. A few days ago, his daughter, Zelda, pleaded with people to stop sending the clip to her.
“Guys, I’m only saying this because I don’t think it’ll stop until I acknowledge it… please, stop sending me the ‘test footage’. I’ve seen it. Jamie is SUPER talented, this isn’t against him, but y’all spamming me an impression of my late Dad on one of his saddest days is weird,” she wrote on Twitter.
The 32-year-old actress and director’s sentiment is valid. Although it’s been seven years since Williams has passed, losing a parent leaves a huge hole in one’s heart. And being constantly reminded of her late dad—at one of his worst moments, at that—is something no daughter would want to experience.
Among those impressed with Costa’s impersonation is an actor who has worked with Williams: Thomas Tulak, who played the youngest of the lost boys in “Hook.”
“This video gave me chills, and brought me to tears. For a moment it felt just like Robin himself was back. I now find myself wanting a Robin biopic more than anything, and I hope Jamie plays him,” Tulak said.
Williams would have turned 70 in July if he were still with us. Only time will tell if Costa’s test footage will lead to a Robin Williams biopic. In the meantime, you can watch Costa’s flawless impersonation in the video below.