While Robin Williams’ career spanned many well-loved movies, there are many who fondly remember his joyous take on Peter Pan in Hook, the sequel that saw a grown-up Peter returning to Neverland to take on the villainous Captain Hook (hammed up to the max by Dustin Hoffman) one more time. One of Williams’ co-stars in the movie was Dante Basco, who played Rufio, leader of the Lost Boys and someone who was not instantly happy to see the return of Pan. When the movie was made, Basco, who also starred in Avatar: The Last Airbender, wasn’t that well known and didn’t instantly become the loved character that he is now, but on hisTwitter account he shared some thoughts on Williams to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday last week, and how the iconic actor meant so much to him.
Dante Basco told followers, “I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to #RobinWilliams. This is a picture on the Sony lot during shooting when my brothers & cousin came to visit & we gave him a hat we made at Compton Indoor swap meet. We embroidered the name of our crew we created after watching #DeadPoetsSociety, it was the address of the garage we all lived in together growing up, ‘13607 1/2’. We wrote poems and raps and tried to live like they did in the movie & ‘suck the marrow out of life.’ He’ll never know how much he’s impacted my life… O captain, my captain… You are the Pan!”
It is not the first time that Basco has talked about working with Robin Williams, or the impact it had on him as a young actor. He spoke to ComicBook.com previously about his time on set with William and also Bob Hoskins, who played Smee in the movie.
“I mean they’re great, great guys, both guys were amazing and were amazing to me as a young actor. Working on Hook, it was one of those films that, that’s what people come to Hollywood to do,” Basco told the site. “Really it’s a dream, a dream project for like, the reason why people get into cars and drive across country, or jump on a plane or a train or whatever, it’s to do a film like Hook working with Spielberg at the height of his prowess, one of the greatest director that ever lived. Working with Robin Williams, and Bob Hopkins, and Dustin Hoffman and you’re talking about “gods,” really, in our industry. You look at legends everyday. It was so impactful to me as a young artist. I’d come to spend my days off to watch these guys work, to be in the presence of greatness and really see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Really, really amazing.”
“I was a fan of Robin Williams since I was a very young kid cuz I love Mork and Mindy and watching films like The World According to Garp, you know,Dead Poets Society before I, which is still among my favorite films, before I got to work with Robin, and being on the set with him and really getting to interact with him and talk to him and such a loving guy,” he continued. “Same thing with Bob Hopkins. The class I grew up in we watched some of his English films before he got to America and did [Who Framed] Roger Rabbit? and things like that, you know some amazing, amazing work and your just a kid trying to a sponge soaking it all up.”
It is not an understatement to say that Robin Williams will always be remembered fondly by those who worked with him and knew him personally so much more than those who only knew him through seeing his work on screen, but what is clear is that everyone remembers him as one of the most genuine giving people to have ever worked in the industry. At this time, there are many in the world who could do worse than to live by his example.