Matthew Lawrence, who played Robin Williams’ son in the ’90s comedy Mrs. Doubtfire, revealed that it was Williams who convinced the actor to stay away from cocaine and other drugs as he got older.
Speaking at a convention called ’90s-Con, Matthew Lawrence, now 42 years old, revealed that he was very close to Robin Williams and that the late actor urged him to never get into drugs.
“He was the first adult who really let me in on his condition,” Matthew Lawrence told People at ’90s-Con. “Like, full-on let me in.”
“As bright as he was on camera — I would go visit him in his trailer to talk to him — it was painful for him. It’s really painful for him. He didn’t hide it. He talked to me about it,” Matthew revealed, adding that the late actor gave him some really important advice that he’s lived by ever since.
“‘Don’t ever do drugs. Especially cocaine,'” he recalled Robin telling him. “He was very serious. He was like, ‘You know when you come to my trailer and you see me like that?’ He’s like, ‘That’s the reason why. And now I’m fighting for the rest of my life because I spent 10 years doing something very stupid every day. Do not do it.'”
“I stayed away from it because of him,” he stated.
Matthew Lawrence also revealed that Robin Williams helped him get the role in Mrs. Doubtfire over another 9-year-old actor, and that he would never forget what he did to catapult his career.
“He very secretly reached behind my back and pinched me so hard,” he explained, reenacting the audition. “The studio started bawling and wept. I got the role because of that little moment over the other boy. It was all Robin Williams… Thank you, Rob.”
Matthew Lawrence went on to star in Boy Meets World, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, Brotherly Love, and the Girl Meets World 2015 spinoff. He also voiced Tombo in the English dub of Kiki’s Delivery Service alongside Kirsten Dunst.
Mara Wilson, 34, who played Robin Williams’ daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire, was also in attendance at ’90s-Con on Saturday, where she shared a tribute the late comedian.
“Robin had a massive influence on me,” she said. “During filming, [he] would talk to me a lot about his issues with mental health and addiction. And I have had a lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression. So we had those conversations.”
“I think it was so good for me to realize that it’s okay to talk about this. It’s okay to be vulnerable. And it was really the first time that I had someone sit down with me and go, ‘I understand that you have anxiety and you are not alone. You’re not just some weirdo freak who has something going on that nobody’s going to understand, that everybody’s going to reject you for,” Mara Wilson recalled. “This is okay and there are things you can do, and you will be alright.”
A sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire was being planned and in pre-production right before Robin Williams’ death, according to Insider, but the project was later scrapped in respect of the late actor.
Director Chris Columbus, famous for his work on Home Alone, later said that it would be “just impossible” to consider doing a sequel without Robin Williams.