During filming of the 1995 movie Jumanji, actors Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, and Bradley Pierce became like family - even when Williams was entertaining his younger co-stars with Ethel Merman imitations they didn't understand. Behind-the-scenes details reveal other twists and turns that perhaps can't rival the board game itself, yet still made the film's production a bit bumpy at times.
In the end, however, the actors and creators of Jumanji were successful - and everyone, including the audience, won the game.
Jumanji producers tried to schedule extra hours for the child actors to help complete the project on time and save money. Bradley Pierce explained:
Children can only be on set for a number of hours. The producers had approached our parents and said, "Is there any way we can do a bit of overtime to get it done." That’s not uncommon at all in the industry because it literally saves $100,000-plus to do that extra half hour rather than a whole day.
Without hesitation, however, Robin Williams stood up for his younger co-workers, Pierce recalled:
He said, "No, we are not doing any extra time. You’re going to let everybody out now and we’re going to come back next week."1,23222Awesome?
Robin Williams Gave Personalized Gifts To The Cast When Filming Wrapped
When filming on Jumanji wrapped, Robin Williams went all out when saying his farewells to fellow cast members. According to actor Bradley Pierce, he gave them personalized, autographed gifts:
Robin gave the cast hard-bound copies of the script as wrap gifts, and he signed them. He wrote something like, "You were a great monkey boy and a pleasure to work with. You have a bright future ahead." He was very much an inspiration, not just as a performer, but as a person.1,06810Awesome?
The Parrish Shoe Factory Was Filmed At A Real Location - And The Sign Is Still Up
After Jumanji wrapped, one important set prop remained in Keene, NH: the sign for the fictional Parrish Shoe Factory.
The sign was painted on a building especially for the movie, and a film crew eventually painted over it to match what it looked like before. Many people had fallen in love with the new look, however, so the town later re-created the sign. Now, it's there to stay.
In 2015, the building became a place of mourning after the passing of Robin Williams.83811Awesome?
Robin Williams Received The Keys To The Town They Filmed In
Jumanji was filmed in Keene, a town in New Hampshire. At first, Robin Williams didn't have high hopes for the location, but said it turned out to be much more welcoming than he anticipated:
They told me it’s just a small town, but I came in and it’s pretty large. I mean, I grew up in San Francisco, so that’s a little bigger and it’s got a bridge. But I’m having a good time.
On November 15, 1994, the town's mayor, William F. Lynch, gave Williams keys to the city.6554Awesome?