Hamish Linklater Shares How Robin Williams Influenced His Career


Summary

  • Hamish Linklater credits Robin Williams for inspiring him to celebrate the “play” of acting, let go, and “let birds fly out of your mouth.”
  • Many actors look up to Williams for his ability to channel humor and insecurity in his performances, and hardly a month goes by without hearing how he touched someone’s life.
  • Linklater discusses the challenge of playing Abraham Lincoln in his new series
    Manhunt
    and the importance of carrying forth Lincoln’s legacy.



Hamish Linklater is a fascinating actor who turned a lot of heads as the new priest in Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass, brought a lot of laughs alongside Julia-Louis Dreyfus in The New Adventures of Old Christine, and melted the hearts of indie film fans with The Future. From The Big Short to Legion, he has an extremely broad range and a disciplined, thoughtful disposition. So it’s a bit surprising that the first advice and influence which came to Linklater’s mind when MovieWeb recently interviewed him was Robin Williams. When discussing acting, Linklater brought up the beloved icon:

“I always think of Robin Williams because there was always so much ‘play’ with him. And sometimes you forget about the play. No matter what part you’re in, you’ve got to do enough research, be prepared enough, whatever it is, so that you can just play and always making sure that you’re ready enough to let go, and just let birds fly out of your mouth.”


Linklater is hardly the first person to credit the great Robin Williams. The list is long, but we recently spoke with Jeremy Jordan about his role as Lucifer in the giant Prime Video hit, Hazbin Hotel, and he was quick to drop Williams’ name:

“I was trying to channel a little bit of Robin Williams, like Genie from
Aladdin, constantly
going on. Everything [Lucifer] says is trying to be a joke; trying to be funny. But also, very much insecure. I got to just rattle on a million different lines and line readings, and it was probably very exhausting on the other side of the table, but I was having a great time with it.”


Almost every month, an actor or filmmaker brings up a cherished memory of Williams. Last year, Nathan Lane shared a memorable story of their time together doing PR for The Birdcage, and that he was worried about being outed or pushed to come out during an Oprah Winfrey interview. Williams “sort of swoops in and diverts Oprah and goes off on a tangent and protects me, because he was a saint,” explained Lane.

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Hamish Linklater Takes on the Role of Abraham Lincoln

Manhunt

Manhunt (2024)

4.5/5

Release Date
March 15, 2024

Cast
Tobias Menzies , Anthony Boyle , Lovie Simone , Matt Walsh , Brandon Flynn , Betty Gabriel , Will Harrison , Hamish Linklater , Damian O’Hare , Patton Oswalt , Lili Taylor

Seasons
1

Studio
3 Arts Entertainment, Apple Studios, Lions Gate Films

Creator
Monica Beletsky

Writers
Monica Beletsky

Streaming Service(s)
Apple TV+


Linklater was doing press about his new Apple TV+ series, Manhunt, about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the subsequent search for his killer, John Wilkes Booth. Linklater plays Lincoln in the show, and discussed the gigantic shoes (and top hat) he was filling.

“I’d seen Daniel Day-Lewis [in the role] and yeah, that’s intimidating, and so many great actors who played this great man so beautifully,” Linklater shared. “The role of Lincoln in Manhunt is more of the ‘father’ and the ‘husband’ and the ‘friend,’ and why that Lincoln was so inspiring for the nation, and also for [Secretary of War] Edwin Stanton to pursue this killer as passionately as he did. And then to also pursue reconstruction as passionately as he did, carrying forth Lincoln’s legacy.”


You can watch the miniseries, based on Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson, on Apple TV+ through the link below and check out the trailer as well.

Watch Manhunt



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