It’s been a few weeks since Robin Williams was found dead in his home in California. While celebrities and colleagues alike have posted different tributes across social media, or have publicly addressed his death, it’s Williams’ Dead Poet’s Society’s co-star Ethan Hawke that has saved profound words on the actor and his personal struggle with depression.
Hawke, who starred alongside the actor when he was only 18 years old, shared powerful scenes with Robin. For the late actor, it was his break out into more dramatic works, and for Ethan Hawke, a star was born.
During a CBC radio interview, host Jian Ghomeshi asked Hawke about the actor, and he didn’t hold back in his thoughts.
“First off, I feel there is an immediate sadness that is pervasive in the whole community when somebody who made all of us so happy reveals themselves to have been in tremendous personal pain. The happiness wasn’t reciprocal — that we didn’t make him happy.”
Like many stories we heard after Robin’s death, Hawke has a very personal connection to the actor aside from his shared work. Like he did for many actors, Williams extended a helping hand to Hawke and found him his very first and only agent. At the time, Robin recommended Ethan to his current agent.
“I owe that to him. That’s how I got White Fang.”
For Hawke, his work with the late actor is a feeling he’s still chasing decades later.
“It was the first time I ever experienced the thrill of acting, the thrill of losing yourself… I’ve chased my whole life since that day with Robin is this way of losing yourself — where you lose yourself inside a story, a story that’s in service of something that’s way beyond you.”
For his young age Ethan was very perceptive, and even then picked up on Williams’ pain.
“The other truth, even at 18, it was obvious he was in a tremendous amount of pain… Anybody who was watching knew.”
As The Inquisitrreported, Robin Williams took his own life on August 11. Days after his death shook the world, his wife Susan revealed that he was battling with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, which didn’t help in his efforts to deal with his depression. She revealed that at the time he was still clean and sober. Before Williams committed suicide, he entered rehab for addiction earlier in the year. He was 63 years old at the time of his death.
[Image via Touchstone Pictures]