Robin Williams, who died on Aug. 11 at 63, was not the kind of guy you simply interviewed. He was the kind of guy with whom you lit a fuse and then stood clear. Our chat in 2011 was in anticipation of his first appearance on Broadway in a serious play, but the conversation quickly spilled over into unchartered territory.
My first impression of him was that he was one impressively hairy human. Sitting there in the makeup chair (for a portrait and video of him that TIME ran with the story), I noticed that he was covered with a wild, manly mane, over all his body like the overgrowth in his film Jumanji. He joked about how his chest hair was so thick it actually poked through the fabric of the shirt he was wearing.
As we sat down to talk, he noticed that the battery cover on…
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