In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson said they met one year at CinemaCon, the annual event where studios present their latest projects to theater owners, in Las Vegas.
It was a "disaster," Johnson said of their first meeting. While backstage, the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star finally had the courage to talk to Williams.
“I finally see him and catch his eye, and I’m like, ‘Hey, I just want to say, you are my biggest fan,’” Johnson recalled.
After a pause, Johnson tried to break the awkward silence.
“I was like, ‘Ah, s---! I meant the opposite!’” he told EW. “And he just laughed and said, ‘It’s so good to meet you,’ and gave me a big hug. So that was it. I made an idiot out of myself when I first met Robin.”
"Yup, nothing like finally working up the courage to approach one of your heroes and say, “Hello Mr Williams, I just have to tell you that you’re one of my biggest fans...” *then we just stare at each other as I just silently nod my head. What an idiot," Johnson added on Twitter.
Yup, nothing like finally working up the courage to approach one of your heroes and say, “Hello Mr Williams, I just have to tell you that you’re one of my biggest fans...” *then we just stare at each other as I just silently nod my head.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 2, 2017
What an idiot. ??♂️? #JUMANJI https://t.co/U2zD5psZGY
As Johnson has said in the past, the Jumanji sequel includes a tribute to the original film, which starred Williams as Alan Parrish.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking at first because there’s such a tremendous amount of love and reverence that people have for Robin,” Johnson told EW. “Anything you touch of his can be very polarizing at first. So I felt like the best thing that I could do for our movie was to try to get out in front of any narrative and let everybody know that we’re making this as a continuation. We cannot fill Robin Williams’ shoes. That’s impossible to do.”