License To Wed : Robin Williams Interview

ROBIN WILLIAMS (Reverend Frank) Q&A

QUESTION: With your history in comedy, do you now encounter people who grew up being inspired by your work to become comics?

ROBIN WILLIAMS: Only one kid who thought I was Carrot Top. And then he realized, ‘No, wait a minute, you don’t have the orange hair.’ No, I haven’t run into one. Nobody yet. I’m hoping, you know? But maybe as I get older, you get those awards and just for living, the Irving Thyroid.

QUESTION: What did wearing the Reverend’s collar do you for?

ROBIN WILLIAMS: When I put the collar on, it reminded me that, first of all, I’m a Protestant, which Episcopal, Catholic-lite, same religion, half the guilt. My people, who don’t believe in the whole celibacy thing, we believe that confession involves a gin and tonic on Thanksgiving. But we do know that the collar and the whole spiritual adviser thing can be different if you’re coming from the perspective if you’re not celibate. You’re not like Quasimodo as a chiropractor.

QUESTION: In a relationship comedy, do you start with the premise that they’re going to be happy in the end?

ROBIN WILLIAMS: Well, I think you hope for that, just like everyone that gets married. I was hoping that everything works out. For those of us who’ve done the program twice, the survivors, as we say, ‘How was your first marriage? You okay? Your marriage was okay? Are you okay in the second one? Yeah. Doing better? Uh-huh.’ I think you want it to work, you want to find out what is it about this? What do they need to know that might help them increase the survival rate, like Frank says when he got, I think, about 50 percent, maybe higher in terms of first marriages lasting and why. Because besides lust, what are you going into the equation with? Just, ‘Okay, what else? ‘Okay, she makes me laugh.’ Ah, that's a good thing. Then you got yourself maybe a long-term odds, that's good. It’s like, what are the things about each other that you like, that don't involve exchange of fluids, and that is the stuff that's interesting to see the ability to fight and not cause bodily harm? Even though some couples would go occasionally, that works. But I think the idea of learning other skills, that's not a bad thing to have out there.

QUESTION: What are some signs that you know that the relationship’s not going to work out?

ROBIN WILLIAMS: With relationships, if you're basically fighting just about everything, then that's not a great idea. If you find yourself going, ‘What am I doing?’ a lot of times, that’s difficult. It's also hard because sometimes a lot of friends are going, ‘What are you doing with that guy?’ But the idea of, ‘What do you really like, and what do you want?’ And now, and a lot of times, relationships can be judged even in the movie Knocked Up, where the people are going, ‘What is this schlub, this goof up?’ And you actually learn that, no, that's something wonderful. What do you know? And that's what intimacy is. It's that stuff between you two that no one else knows about, that's the good stuff. And the bad stuff, too.