1. The original screenwriter of Mrs. Doubtfire, Randi Mayem Singer, was actually fired because the studio didn’t like the ending of the movie because the parents did not end up together. However, after testing it the other way, they realized their error and re-hired her.
2. Here’s a anecdote about wearing the Doubfire costume, according to Robin Williams in a Reddit chat:
One time in makeup as Mrs. Doubtfire, I walked into a sex shop in San Francisco and tried to buy a double-headed dildo. Just because. Why not? And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me - Robin Williams - not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large dildo and a jar of lube. He just laughed and said “what are you doing here” and I left. Did I make the purchase? No. * Did I walk away with a really good story? *Yes.
3. There’s a scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Williams is stealing the hood ornament off a Mercedes in which his character is humming the theme from The Crying Game, one of several cute little inside jokes in the movie. Williams famously improvised many of the lines, and one of the crew members had to keep track of all the references so that they could get the references cleared for use through the legal department.
4. This is a picture of the stoop in front of the Mrs. Doubtfire house after Robin Williams passed away.
5. Disturbingly, Mrs. Doubtfire is sometimes cited by Men’s Rights Activist as an example of why the Men’s Rights Movement needs to exist. See, e.g., this Reddit post:
This movie depicts the plight of many fathers today very clearly. Robin Williams is clearly the best person to be raising his children yet the court says he can’t because wifey wants a divorce … This movie kicked me right in the feels and it came at just the right moment. I had been hanging out with a couple female friends who had been teasing me for considering myself a MRA. We went and watched the movie and at the end they all agreed that the plight of Robin Williams in the movie was F-ed up. They also claimed that situations like this are uncommon and seemed to think it was ok for women to be the default parent in divorce. TLDR Robin Williams is a perfect example of the need of MRM.
(Response from another MRM activist: “You need new friends, these ones sound like cows.”)
*Full body cringe*
6. Speaking of Men’s Rights Activist, Tim Allen (*grunt grunt*) was apparently originally offered the lead role of Daniel. Likewise, the role and/or parts of Mrs. Doubtfire were rumored to make up a planned Home Improvement sequel that Allen ultimately rejected.
7. Blake Lively auditioned for a role in the film, and the choice came down to her and Mara Wilson. In the final callback, Lively’s mother didn’t want her to get nervous, so she told Blake that Robin Williams would not be auditioning with her, that it would be Williams’ twin brother, which resulted in an incredibly awkward experience for Lively. She didn’t get the part, obviously.
8. Both Mara Wilson and Lisa Jakub, who played his daughters in Mrs. Doubtfire, wrote beautiful tributes to Williams after his passing. In Jakub’s letter, she said that during filming on Mrs. Doubtfire, her school booted her because it couldn’t keep up with the demands of sending all of her school work overseas. Williams stuck up for her.
It’s devastating, at 14, to have your formal education terminated. I felt like a freak and a reject. When I arrived at work the next day, Robin noticed that I was upset and asked me what was wrong. I explained what had happened, and the next day, he handed me a letter that he wrote to my school. He explained that I was just trying to continue my education while pursuing my career. He wrote embarrassingly kind things about my character and my work, and requested that they reconsider and allow me to return to my classes.
When I told him I still didn’t think they would take me back, he said, “It’s kinda like Amnesty International. That school just needs to know that people know the truth.”
The school framed the letter. They hung it in the principal’s office. But they didn’t invite me to return to school.
9. In Wilson’s tribute to Williams, she reminisced about the first dinner scene in Doubtfire:
He uses chopsticks like antennae to make me smile. That was a reference to a take that didn’t end up in the film, where Robin was supposed to make a speech about his new job boxing and shipping cans, then turn it into a song. He went off book, as always, and before we knew what he was doing, the chopsticks were by his ears and he was freestyle rapping from the point of view of an ant railing against the humans who kept stepping on its friends.
10. In a couple of odd and coincidental real-life parallels, Sally Fields was actually going through a divorce during filming of Mrs. Doubtfire and, later, Robin Williams divorced his wife to marry his nanny, as opposed to divorcing his wife and becoming the nanny.
11. Here’s the actual make-up transformation of Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. It took four and a half hours every day.
12. Check this out: The newspaper headline that Daniel saw in the movie that made him choose to be Mrs. Doubtfire was re-used in an episode of Charmed.
13. Talk of a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel had been brewing for a decade before Williams’ death. The original script for the sequel, in fact, had been written by Bonnie Hunt. However, Williams never gave it serious consideration until earlier this year, when it was announced that Christopher Columbus and Williams were reuniting and moving ahead with the sequel, obviously scrapped at this point. At the time, Mara Wilson — not involved — was not happy. The plot to the sequel was said to involve Mrs. Doubtfire moving near her daughter’s college so she could keep an eye on her.
14. Anne Fine, who wrote the novel upon which Mrs. Doubtfire was based, wanted Warren Beatty to take the lead role because she thought it would be amusing for a womanizer to play a woman.
15. Even before Williams’ passing, Mrs. Doubtfire was the most replayed movie on cable for all of 2013, airing 66 times over the course of the year, or more than once a week.