Polished Edge: Robin Williams of ‘The Crazy Ones’ on CBS
Q: You’re starring in this Thursday CBS comedy as mad genius ad exec Simon Roberts, who’s partnered with his daughter, Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar). How are you and she getting along?
A: Very sweetly. I think the first day, we were very honest. I leaned over, and I said, “I’m a little afraid.” And she said, “Me, too.” I knew there was no audience, which took the pressure off, and then we started doing it.
Q: Are you also getting along with co-star James Wolk, as womanizing copywriter Zach Cropper?
A: He’s really good. This is a nice thing for him to kick out and be as crazy, as funny as he can, playing this studly character. “Did you sleep with her?” “Not yet.” “OK, cool.” And they can also pitch with me and throw ideas around and send him in as the designated shtick man, which is kind of wonderful.
Q: You’re famed for your quick wit and improvisational skills. Are your younger co-stars intimidated by that?
A: Oh, no, they keep up, and they’re quicker than me. They’re as quick if not faster. For me, at 62 now ... that’s why I’ve got to find the rhythms, get back up to speed. By the end of the pilot, I was like, “OK, oh, it’s over. Now I’ve got to get back into shape, find the character, find the moments. How outrageous can you be?”
Q: Are your ad execs at all like the ’60s ones in “Mad Men”?
A: Not at all. God, no. I know people love it, but I’ve never seen it.