Robin Williams defended ‘Jumanji’ child stars Bradley Pierce and Kirsten Dunst on set

Bradley Pierce has revealed how his co-star Robin Williams defended him and Kirsten Dunst while filming Jumanji.

It’s been almost nine years since the death of the iconic Oscar-winning actor and comedian – one that shook the Hollywood world to its core.

Williams starred in several notable films, one of them being the popular 1995 fantasy adventure film, which also featured Bonnie Hunt and Jonathan Hyde, alongside child stars Dunst and Pierce.

The beloved flick follows the story of two children whose worlds collide with Alan Parrish, who got pulled into the magical board game as a young boy.
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Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt, Bradley Pierce, in Jumanji (1995). Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

In celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary three years ago, the 40-year-old actor – who portrayed Peter Shepard in the movie –  has revealed how the late Williams once protected him on set.

Speaking to CBCListen, Pierce – who was 13 at the time – recalled filming the sequence in which the game unleashes a monsoon upon the world.

He revealed that he was having trouble due to the water getting in between his expansive makeup as in the film, his character transforms into a monkey.

“I couldn’t breathe through my nose,” he said, explaining that the shoot lasted for eight days and “was really draining for everybody”.

He said that while it left him and Dunst “tired,” producers tried to get them to work overtime, which isn’t legally allowed for children.

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Pierce had extensive makeup in the film because his character transforms into a monkey. Credit: Photo 12 / Alamy

“Children can only be on set for a number of hours,” Pierce stated. “The producers had approached our parents and said, ‘Is there any way we can do a bit of overtime to get it done.’

“That’s not uncommon at all in the industry because it literally saves $100,000 plus to do that extra half hour rather than a whole day,” he disclosed.

The Borrowers actor shared that Williams found out about “these conversations” and then “pulled the director [Joe Johnston] and producers aside” to tell them the children won’t be working overtime.

“He said, ‘No, we are not doing any extra time. You’re going to let everybody out now and we’re going to come back next week,'” he stated.

“For all the dollars that would have cost, nobody would have stood up the way he did. In addition to being warm, generous, and kind, he was also very protective,” Pierce added.

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Robin Williams tragically died in 2014. Credit: PA Images / Alamy

The Good Will Hunting actor tragically passed away in 2014 at the age of 63 after taking his own life.

The Hollywood star had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, something he had kept secret, but an autopsy conducted after his death showed that he had been misdiagnosed and had instead been suffering from Lewy body dementia.

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