Lisa Jakub is sharing a sweet story about Robin Williams.
It happened as she was preparing to play Williams’ eldest daughter in “Mrs. Doubtfire” but her high school had told her that is was “too difficult” for her to do her schooling long distance and she “shouldn’t come back to high school.”
“I had been working with an on-set tutor and sending my work back to the high school, but that just wasn’t working for them anymore, so they just kinda broke up with me,” Jakub told Yahoo Entertainment. “And I was really upset about that, and Robin, just being perceptive and kindhearted, reached out and was like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ I told him what happened, and he wrote a letter to my school asking them to please reconsider. Would they work with me in trying to balance my education and my career? And he didn’t think that that was fair.”
The Toronto high school received and framed the letter from Williams but didn’t work out a deal with Jakub.
“But what I love about that story and what I love about Robin, it’s just the fact that he would do that for someone, that he would go out of his way, that he would take the time to realize that this would be important,” Jakub said. “And even if it didn’t work, somebody needed to stand up, and he did that for me. I don’t know if he ever knew how massive that was and how much I felt like he was in my corner. And how much that really shifted things for me and made me think about, ‘What is the impact I wanna make in the world?'”
Jakub also had praise for her onscreen mom Sally Field and siblings played by Matthew Lawrence and Mara Wilson.
She added, “Robin and Sally were so wonderful to us. Matt and Mara and I were really, really close, and so we all felt like family. Sally did an amazing job both treating us like we were kids and treating us like we were professionals. She would bring us games and books and things to remind us, like, ‘hey, we’re kids. We can mess around. We can have fun. We can enjoy.’ But we were also treated with this respect, that we were expected to show up on time, be prepared, to know our lines and be part of this work situation that was serious and intense.”
Jakub stopped acting after nearly 15 years in 2000 and has since become a mental wellness coach and author.
According to Jakub, Williams spoke to her about addiction and mental health. He died by suicide in 2014.
“Robin was everything that you would hope he would be, and he was very open and honest with me about his issues with anxiety and depression,” Jakub said. “I was able to share with him that anxiety was something that I struggled with, and he would talk to me about mental health issues in a way that 14-year-olds aren’t usually used to adults being really open about those sorts of personal experiences with them.”