Two years after Robin Williams’ death, the Oscar winner and comedian’s daughter Zelda is describing the stages of grief she’s experienced.
“I didn’t really grow up in the spotlight — we lived in San Francisco — so for me, we were already kind of together and close,” Williams, 27, says of her bond with her father in a new interview with Chelsea Handler.
After her father’s death on Aug. 11, 2014, Williams learned to cope with her new reality one day at a time. “And so I just kept going, ‘OK, well, today I’m going to get up and love what I do. And then tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be happy and love what I do. And then the next day,'” she explained. “Because that’s all you can do.”
Williams recalled how her father’s death changed the way people treated her. “It was very funny because, for a while, no one would let me do anything,” she shared. “I think there’s that reaction of like, ‘Oh, s—, are you OK?’ And then even if you are OK, they’re like, ‘Well, what’s wrong?’ For a while, I was just kind of left to my own devices.”
Williams also showed that she inherited her dad’s sense of humor. “But then also you’re like, ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ And also, I didn’t see daylight for awhile,” she said, smiling and drawing laughs from the audience. “So now I’m doing a lot more of that.”
Indeed, the actress has been busy, playing a transgender character in Freeform’s Dead of Summer and a maniacal kidnapper in Lifetime’s Girl in the Box. “I’ve been working really hard,” she said, “and it’s been nice because you get to not sit with yourself for too long.”
In July, Williams shared with EW how her father may have felt about her new life. “He missed out on me being proud of myself by about a year and a half, and that’s the one thing that’s really sad for me, because I know he was always proud of me,” she said. “I think he would’ve loved that I was happy.”
For more of Williams’ interview with Handler, stream Thursday’s Chelsea on Netflix Thursday at 12:01 a.m. PT.