It’s been seven years since beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams passed away, but a newly released film clip makes it feel like he’s come back to life. The five-minute short appears to have been self-released by actor Jamie Costa, who not only amazes with his uncanny impression but also a moving performance as the young Williams. The scene features Costa as Williams opposite actress Sarah Murphree as Pam Dawber on the set of “Mork & Mindy.” It shows Robin running lines energetically in the dressing room mirror when Pam interrupts him to deliver the news of John Belushi’s death.
Costa’s impersonation is almost unnervingly precise. Just as Williams himself could impersonate any number of public figures and voices, Costa seems amazingly in control of his instrument. His vocal inflection and intonation are seemingly perfect, and he even captured Williams’ unique way of descending quickly into a low, hushed whisper and then back up to a frenzied full volume. The dramatic scene is caught mostly in close-up, he also seems to have nailed the physicality, such as the way he rubs his hands together, grips his jaw, or fitfully shoots his arms up in the air.
The commenters praised Costa’s impression, with many clamoring for the full biopic to get made. “Every reaction, every idiosyncrasy and nuanced emotion he might portray in his more serious roles, I felt like I was actually watching him,” wrote one user. “I genuinely hope if a Robin Williams biopic is made that Jamie plays him because he would do if justice and with respect,” said another.
A comedian, voice actor, and impressionist, Costa became widely known for his impression of Williams shortly after the comedian’s death when he uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Never Had a Friend Like Him.” The two-minute video featured Costa doing a whirlwind montage of Williams’ most beloved characters, including “Mork & Mindy,” “The Fisher King,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Flubber,” “Jack,” “Hook,” “Popeye,” “Jumanji,” “Night at the Museum,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Aladdin,” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.”
Check out Costa’s uncanny Robin Williams impression in the “Robin” test footage below: