Pierce Brosnan Reveals Surprising Detail About Filming 'Mrs. Doubtfire' With Robin Williams

Pierce Brosnan shared a surprising behind-the-scenes story about Mrs. Doubtfire, the classic 1993 family movie starring Robin Williams. In a new interview with GQ, the former James Bond actor said he did not "meet" Williams for real until after the film wrapped. During production, Brosnan only saw Williams under the Oscar-winning makeup that transformed him into a British nanny.

Brosnan, 69, said he met Williams in San Francisco, where the film was shot, on the first day, but he was already in full nanny makeup. "I went into the makeup trailer and Robin was there, and he had a Hawaiian shirt on, and big, hairy arms and cargo pants, and hairy legs. But he had the head of Mrs. Doubtfire," Brosnan said. Williams even introduced himself to Brosnan in full Doubtfire character. Williams arrived onset hours earlier than Brosnan since it took four hours to apply the Doubtfire makeup.

"I would go to work, and I went to work every day on that movie. And I was always working with, you know, Mrs. Doubtfire. It wasn't until the end of the movie that I met Robin," Brosnan said. He went on to praise director Chris Columbus for creating "such a warm environment for us all to be free in and to create in." Williams also had a "full realm of creativity and spontaneity, and humanity, and passion for all of us actors," the Tomorrow Never Dies star said, adding that the late Williams' commitment to the movie was "phenomenal, because he would go to work and be there from four o'clock in the morning."

Mrs. Doubtfire came at an important time in Brosnan's career. In 1993, he was still known as the star of Remington Steele, alongside Stephanie Zimbalist. He told GQ that he only took the job in Mrs. Doubtfire because he "had a mortgage to pay that month." Of course, Mrs. Doubtfire became a big hit and Brosnan starred in his first Bond movie, GoldenEye, two years later. Brosnan has a good relationship with Mrs. Doubtfire though. In 2018, he famously reunited with Mara Wilson, Lisa Jakub, and Matthew Lawrence, who played Sally Field's three children in the movie, to celebrate its 25th anniversary.


Mrs. Doubtfire is still remembered as one of Williams' best movies. In 2021, a Twitter rumor claimed Williams improvised so much on the set that Columbus put together an NC-17 cut using the actor's raunchiest jokes. However, Columbus later told Entertainment Weekly that no such cut exists. Williams "would sometimes go into territory that wouldn't be appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but certainly appropriate and hilariously funny for an R-rated film," Columbus said. When Mrs. Doubtfire hit theaters, it carried a PG-13 rating.