Director Chris Columbus revealed that he shot 2 million feet of film for Mrs. Doubtfire — all because of Robin Williams. The beloved comedian would improvise during scenes so much that they needed four cameras going at all times so they didn’t miss anything! It's not surprising, then, that there are some fascinating behind-the-scenes tales from Mrs. Doubtfire that will make you fall in love with the movie all over again now that it’s turning 30.
It was filmed in a real house — and you can visit it
At one point in the movie, we hear Miranda give the address of her family home. This is the real address of the real house used in the movie: 2640 Steiner St. After Williams’ death in 2014, the home became an impromptu memorial.
Fans gathered outside the iconic house to place flowers and tributes there. They've continued to do so ever since, and luckily the owners have been welcoming to anybody who wishes to view the house — from the outside, at least.
They told the kids a little white lie
While auditioning for the parts of Daniel’s older children, Lisa Jakub and Matthew Lawrence were introduced to “the director’s mother.” But, you may have guessed already, the person they were introduced to wasn't the director’s mother at all.
It was really Williams in full Mrs. Doubtfire makeup. He and the producers wanted to see how the children would react. Both kids eventually worked it out and were happy to be fooled.
There’s another Williams in the movie
Mrs. Doubtfire is a film about familial relationships, so it seems only appropriate that another member of Williams’ family would be in there. You might think it would have been his then-four-year-old daughter, Zelda — but you'd be wrong.
The bartender at the pool is mysteriously credited as “Dr. Toad.” Mrs. Doubtfire is the actor’s only credit on IMDb, but that’s probably because he’s actually Williams’ older brother Robert. He was known throughout his life by his middle name, Todd.
Blake Lively auditioned for a part
Actress Blake Lively was five years old when she auditioned for the role in Mrs. Doubtfire that eventually went to Mara Wilson. She apparently got down to the final two as well. But the problem came when she met Robin Williams. Apparently the young Lively was such a huge fan of the actor that she was incredibly nervous to do the audition.
Rumor has it her dad tried to ease her nerves by telling her she’d be auditioning with Williams’ twin brother, but the plan failed, and Lively blew the audition. Maybe it was for the best though: it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Mara Wilson in this iconic role, and Lively ultimately got her big break anyway in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.