How this scarily accurate clip sparked calls for a Robin Williams biopic

As Jamie Costa's viral clip leaves fans doing a double take, we look at some of the most accurate biopic performances from years gone by

If the idea for a Robin Williams biopic was not already in the minds of Hollywood’s top dogs, the seed will have been planted thanks to an uncanny performance by relatively unknown actor Jamie Costa.

In a video released on YouTube on Monday, Costa portrays the beloved actor at the height of his Mork & Mindy fame in 1982.

The performance has since gone viral thanks to Costa’s scarily accurate portrayal of Williams, which has left many of the late actor’s fans doing a double take.

The clip has been viewed close to 900,000 times and has left people calling for the proposed biopic to be made, with Costa cast in the lead role.

“Jamie Costa will sell you on how much he needs to be in a Robin Williams biopic with this footage,” wrote author Matthew Rettenmund on Twitter.

Actor Edward Hong, said: “I am at a loss of words of how extraordinary this is.

“Jamie Costa encapsulates the essence of Robin Williams so perfectly that this ‘fan footage’ for a proposed biopic is a clear sign this truly needs to happen.”

Costa is not the only actor to turn heads for a scarily lifelike portrayal of a well-known figure. Here are five other uncanny biopic performances…

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, best known for playing an introverted hacker in the TV series Mr Robot, was cast to portray Queen’s famously flamboyant frontman Mercury in the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

However, his performance went on to earn him the Oscar and Golden Globe for best actor the following year. More importantly, it was described as “uncanny” by those closest to the singer, who died in 1991. Malek revealed that Mercury’s bandmates, Brian May and Roger Taylor, were left speechless after watching the actor’s test scenes.

“I had to stand in between Brian May and Roger Taylor and watch myself emulate their dearest friend,” Malek said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I heard [May] under his breath say: ‘It’s uncanny.’”

Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in ‘Jackie’

Natalie Portman’s portrayal of the former first lady in 2016’s Jackie won her much praise, not just for her uncanny likeness to the figure, but also thanks to the level of humanity she was able to bring to Kennedy as the film recounted the darkest of days.

Portman’s posture and wispy voice mimicked a dignified Kennedy as she dealt publicly with her husband’s assassination. The performance won her the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress, and the film landed a string of awards for costume and make-up design.

Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’

Gary Oldman has been known to transform himself for roles over the years, but none had quite the astonishing effect on audiences as his stint as Winston Churchill in 2017’s Darkest Hour. Oldman spent more than four hours in hair and make-up each day, with his castmates revealing their surprise the first time they saw him in character.

“There was an audible gasp in the room and some people stood up,” Kristen Scott Thomas, who played Churchill's wife in the film, said in an interview with Sky News. “It was really, really, really impressive, and he set the bar really high so it was easy to believe; after that, it was so helpful to us.”

“It was so complete and so transformative and so uncanny: the voice, the walk, the look – everything,” said co-star Lily James.

And critics agreed. Oldman swept the board during 2018’s award season, taking home the best actor gong at the Oscars, Golden Globes, Screen Actors’ Guild Awards, Baftas, and Critics’ Choice.

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in ‘Ray’

Another Oscar-winning performance as Jamie Foxx blew critics away with his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biopic, Ray. From the musician's subtle swagger to his mannerisms, Foxx seamlessly channelled the energy of the star into his performance, turning it into a career-defining moment.

Foxx, who lost 13 kilograms for the role, said in an interview with CBS News: “Once I got down to that weight, and when we got the hair together, and I put those shades on, and I listened to that music, I said: 'Watch out. Something is about to happen'."

Taron Egerton as Elton John in ‘Rocketman’

Not only did Welsh actor Taron Egerton bear a striking resemblance to a young Elton John in 2019’s Rocketman, he nailed the singing voice too. Unlike many of the other stars mentioned in this list, Egerton had the benefit of having help from the man himself, as John worked closely with the star throughout the film’s production.

John’s partner, David Furnish, who was a producer on the film, revealed the advice the singer passed on to Egerton to help him embody the character.

“Elton has told Taron: 'Don’t copy me. Don’t think you have to sing it exactly the way that I sang it. Don’t think you have to perform it the way I performed it,' Furnish told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think it’s the challenge for the actor to embody the spirit and not get into thinking they have to do an impersonation.”

The performance earned Egerton the 2020 Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy motion picture.

Updated: October 14th 2021, 9:43 AM