The next step, which promised to be unpredictable and perhaps memorable, was bringing together the two extremely dynamic personalities of Robin Williams and Patch Adams.
Describes Shadyac, "There was an instant symbiotic relationship between them. Patch is one of the most well-read people Ive ever met. So is Robin, he can reference anything. They immediately had a book reference banter going on. And they both like to clown. I couldnt get them away from each other."
Patch recalls meeting Williams "on the set of a movie he was finishing. He went to clown with me in a hospital. I felt I had met a brother. I don't meet a lot of people whose lives are so full of generosity, compassion and humor, and with him it was an instant feeling that thats how he is."
Sharing Patchs love for children, Williams and the entire production worked closely with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to fulfill the fantasies of several children who were at the time undergoing treatment for cancer. The children appear with Williams in scenes at the pediatric ward, bringing a power, dignity and grace to the film.
Says Williams, who has long supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation and spent every available moment with the kids on and off the set, "The children had such joy in performing and being in the movie. Their parents said it really lifted their spirits, which is what Patch is all about. The clowning and the connecting to music and art, and all these other things that arent normally associated with medicine, can have great healing effect."