John Armijo calls himself a hobby actor. He’s self-employed but takes small roles in every locally shot movie that he can.
“Up to 50 movies now, a couple commercials, and a few tv shows to this time,” he says.
Armijo says he’s met a lot of wonderful actors. But one of his best filming experiences was on the set of The Butler. “I did a scene with Robin Williams. He played Eisenhower in that movie.”
Armijo played a military aid to Eisenhower in the film. He spent one day working with Williams.
“He really went out of his way to keep everybody entertained almost like it was his job to keep everybody happy,” Armijo says. “He delivered his lines to the crowd. As soon as the cameras stopped, he went into showman mode and made everybody laugh over and over and over.”
Armijo says he expected Williams to be as entertaining in person as on tv and in movies and he was. But he says the star was just as interested in the rest of the cast was in him.
“Very friendly. Asked about me, my personal life. Asked about my kids, talked about ‘Aladdin.'”
Williams was found dead inside his California home on Monday. Investigators say he committed suicide.
Armijo says he never saw Williams appear down or depressed, but he says the star definitely had a different demeanor away from the lights and cameras on the movie’s set.
“Later I ran into him on the bottom floor away from the shooting and he was very, very quiet at the time, kind of reserved.”
Armijo says, unfortunately, his scene with Williams was cut from the movie but he’ll always have fond memories of their day working together.