Film director Terry Gilliam recalls in a new interview how while shooting a pivotal scene for his 1991 movie The Fisher King, star Robin Williams was “tearing his guts out emotionally.”

In an interview with New York Magazine’s Vulture, Gilliam says the scene, in which Williams, playing a homeless man who after a date must face his own personal demon in the form of a “Red Knight” was a challenge for the actor.  

“This scene wasn’t a challenge to shoot as far as effects are concerned, but it was very hard from an acting point of view, because Robin was tearing his guts out emotionally,” Gilliam recalled.

Williams, he said, “always wanted to do another take.”

“He felt he had even more anguish and pain to spill out of the character. And I had to really stop him,” he continued. “I had to say, ‘Robin, you’ve reached a point here, way beyond what we expected. We’ve got what we needed. Now you’re just hurting yourself.’”

Read more excerpts from the interview on