Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival
For many emerging actors, stripping in front of a costar is not necessarily high on the priority list. In Roberto Aguire’s case, his nude scene also happened to be another man, and one of his acting idols: Robin Williams.
“He’d come up every take and ask me, ‘You OK?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah. You know, I’m just naked in front of my idol,’ ” Aguire recalls of the conversation he had with the late actor while fully waxed and naked for a scene for Boulevard, which tells the story of a married man who finds himself attracted to a young hustler. As he explained to him: " 'It’s a dream come true, Robin, one off the bucket list. Never thought you’d get to see me naked. Maybe drunk, but not like this.’ ”
By unfortunate coincidence, Aguire was one of the last actors to work with Williams — someone who made a lasting impression on the 27-year-old — before Williams committed suicide in 2014. “It was an experience that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” he says. “He was so generous with everyone as an actor.”
That generosity extended to every moment the two actors filmed together. And for Aguire, who was first seen in Chris Colfer’s coming-of-age drama, Struck by Lighting, working with Williams under the direction of Dito Montiel was like being in a masters acting course. Recalling one scene in particular, which was shot during a grueling, 12-hour day, the actor explains that Williams gave it his all, even when he wasn’t on camera.
“I thought he might give less, and I’d have to fight more to get to where we’ve been but it was the exact opposite. He gave more when I was there. He gave everything he had, even though he was so tired and so drained,” Aguire says. “There wasn't a moment where he was checked out. And for a young actor, to get that much attention and care from someone like Robin Williams, is just a huge testament to him. That was an amazing moment I had with him.”
Despite the dark circumstances that now surround the release of the film after Williams' death, Aguire still finds a positive message of hope in Boulevard's overall message: "The worst thing that can happen in your life is to settle."
Boulevard opens in New York City July 10 and additional theaters next week. Watch the trailer below: