Few movies have the same level of zany humor, genuine heart, and profound emotion that the 1993 classic Mrs. Doubtfire does.
Now approaching its 25th anniversary, the film has long been revered as one of Robin Williams’ best performances, both for his hilarious turn as the truly one of a kind nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire and for his work as the downtrodden and affable Daniel Hillard.
Mrs. Doubtfire finds Williams’ newly divorced father struggling to stay close to his children and doing whatever it takes to ensure that he can see them each and every day – even if it means dressing as an elderly Scottish woman.
The movie offers a showcase of Williams’ voice acting and impressions, with countless references and jokes having been added in during production all by Williams himself.
Mrs. Doubtfire also starred well known names in the industry, such as Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan, and served as a career launching point for future millennial icons Mara Wilson and Matthew Lawrence.
As beloved as the movie is, most fans would be quite surprised if they learned some of the decisions and antics that went on behind the scenes.
Here are the 20 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Making Of Mrs. Doubtfire.
20 Two or three cameras were kept on Robin Williams at all times
From the very beginning of his television and movie career, it’s been said that Robin Williams was a real unpredictable talent, running around sets faster than cameras were used to moving and dropping references and impressions at the speed of light and sound.
Given all of the humor that the character of Mrs. Doubtfire required, as well as the brief moments when Daniel Hillard is allowed to unwind and get silly, it’s no surprise at all to learn that during production of the movie, at least two or three cameras were kept trained on Williams at all times.
The director was so concerned about missing any potentially useful, ingenious material that Williams could come up with at any given moment that he determined it was necessary to have all cameras on Williams whenever possible.
Clearly this was well worth the effort.
19 Deleted scenes reveal that it was almost much more depressing
It’s always interesting to see what scenes do and don’t make the cut for a finished product once deleted scenes have been released.
Sometimes, things are cut for time. Other times, plots change and scenes no longer fit where they once did.
In some cases, scenes can totally change the overall tone of a work, and in the case of Mrs. Doutbfire, some recently , Mrs. Doubtfire was the most replayed movie on all basic cable stations for the entire year.
Overall, it aired a whopping 66 times in the calendar year, which means it aired more than once per week on average.
Other films that ranked high on the list that year included The Shawshank Redemption, Ice Age, Juno, and Sleepless in Seattle.
3 Due to Williams’ improvisations, an NC-17 version of the movie exists
We’ve already talked about just how much of a role Robin Williams’ tendency to improvise played into the making of and eventual success of the movie.
However, what you probably didn’t know is that the sheer volume of his improvisation led to some vastly different cuts of the movie being produced, but ultimately not used.
According to reports, there were different versions of the movie corresponding to PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings, based on which of Williams’ ad-libs and tangents were included in the cut.
The movie was ultimately released in PG-13 form, due to some language and sexual innuendo.
However, it’s hard to not wonder what on Earth could possibly have existed in those R and NC-17 versions to warrant such an extreme rating change when the rest of the movie is otherwise so wholesome.
2 The movie won an Academy Award for its makeup work
Based on the plot of Mrs. Doubtfire, you would think that changing in and out of the Euphegenia Doubtfire makeup and outfit would be something that could be accomplished in a simple trip to the ladies’ room.
However, the truth behind the work that went into creating the iconic elderly Scottish woman look is a much different story.
Each day that Williams was in the Mrs. Doubtfire makeup, it took the team of artists four and a half hours to get him suited and painted up.
The process was so thoroug, and so convincing, that the team, consisting of makeup artists Ve Neill, Greg Cannom, and Yolanda Toussieng, would go on to win the 1994 Academy Award for Best Makeup.
1 The address used for the Hillard home is the real address of the exterior used for filming
It’s not uncommon for movies and television shows to use exteriors of buildings and homes that are totally unrelated to the production otherwise.
Sets are almost always contained in studios, and in some cases, the exterior shots are filmed on studio as well.
For Mrs. Doubtfire, however, it turns out things were a whole lot more authentic.
The exterior of the house used for the Hillard family home in the movie was in fact a real house in San Francisco.
Further, the address of the home itself was, in fact, the address used for the Hillard home, despite all scenes inside of it having no resemblance at all to the interior of the house itself.
Can you think of any other interesting facts behind the making of Mrs. Doubtfire? Let us know in the comments!