Lady. DoubtfireChild star Matthew Lawrence has reflected on advice given to him by the late Robin Williams, who played his father on screen.
In the 1993 film, Williams played Daniel Hillard, a divorced father of three who disguises himself as an elderly British woman and convinces his ex-wife Miranda (Sally Field) to hire him as a nanny so he can spend time with their children.
The Hillard children in the film were played by Matthew Lawrence, Mara Wilson (matilda) and Lisa Jakub.
During his appearance at the first ’90s Con on Saturday (March 12), Lawrence, now 42, said People about his conversations with Williams, who had battled cocaine addiction for many years.
“He was the first adult who really let me know about his condition. Like, complete, let me in,” he said.
“I mean, as brilliant as he was on camera, he was going to 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 told me about it.”
Lawrence said Williams, who died aged 63 in 2014 after taking his own life, had given him “a gift” of important advice.
“’Never do drugs. Especially the cocaine,’” Lawrence recalled Williams saying. “He was very serious. He said to me, ‘You know when you come to my trailer and you see me like this?’
“It’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 for him.”
Wilson, 34, who was also at the convention, added: “Robin had a huge influence on me. He, during the filming, talked to me a lot about her mental health and addiction problems. And I’ve had a lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression. So we had those conversations.”
She said: “I think it was really 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 someone sat down with me and said, ‘I understand that you have anxiety and that you’re not alone.’ You’re not just some weirdo who has something that no one is going to understand, so everyone is going to reject you.’”
If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the following organizations for help: actiononaddiction.org.uk, mind.org.uk, nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth, mentalhealth.org.uk.
If you are experiencing feelings of anguish and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offer support; you can speak to someone free of charge by phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected] or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch .
If you reside in the US and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.