HBO has released the first trailer for its upcoming documentary about the late actor/comedian Robin Williams, called Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, which takes viewers through the career highs and lows of the legendary performer until his shocking death by suicide back in 2014. According to Variety, the documentary is narrated mostly by Williams himself and includes never-before-seen footage of the beloved actor. It also includes interviews with some of his famous friends, including Billy Crystal, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, and Steve Martin.
The trailer reveals how much doing stand-up really saved him, with his friends saying how at home he was up there on stage. While he didn’t tell jokes, per se, he created characters that allowed his incredible sense of humor to shine through. Yet offstage, life was a bit more complicated. It reveals his underlying abandonment fears that stemmed from his childhood and how it dictated his future life. It also delves into his drug use and his battle to gain sobriety. Through all of the interviews and in Williams’ own words, new insight is given to a man beloved by millions but possibly not by himself. It paints an intimate portrait and gives viewers a glimpse into the man they admired for decades.
According to Variety, Williams’ family is also a focus of the documentary, with his son Zak Williams sitting down for an interview. “My father didn’t always feel like he was succeeding, but he was the most successful person I know,” he says. That is certainly the way the world viewed him so when news of his suicide was revealed, it affected so many around the world in ways they didn’t expect. The same thing seems to be happening this week on the heels of the two high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, once again bringing mental illness into the forefront of people’s consciences.
For Williams, it was later revealed that the underlying cause of his turning to suicide was the diagnosis of a rare brain disease called Lewy Body Dementia. And while he may have felt it robbed him of many things, his humanity continued to shine through to the very end. Despite being known as one of the funniest men on the planet, Williams was also a humanitarian who reached to help those in need, whether it was through Comic Relief specials and countless other charities he lent his name to or little things like helping director Steven Spielberg survive the filming of Schindler’s List, according to Page Six, he wanted to help others.
The HBO documentary film, directed by Marina Zenovich, premieres July 16.