The CSULB alumna had completed the film “A Merry Friggin’ Christmas” with Williams, Joel McHale, Lauren Graham and Oliver Platt. She said it was “shocking” to hear of the comedian’s suicide, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s horrible, and yet I know so many funny people who wrestle with the same feelings,” McLendon-Covey said.
The holiday film portrays a dysfunctional family including Williams, whose patriarch character calls his daughter McLendon-Covey's husband an "idiot." The actress shared with EW what it was like being on set with the legend and his portrayal of a “quiet, grumpy character.”
“Between takes, if he said something and you laughed, he would light up like a Christmas tree and then keep going and keep going and keep going,” she said. “It was like incense to him. If you would laugh at just the smallest thing he did, he just got giddy about it. It was so sweet.”
“A Merry Friggin’ Christmas” was one of four films Williams had finished filming prior to his death on Monday. The other three are “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” “Boulevard” and “Absolutely Anything.”
The first clip from the holiday film, premiered on “Entertainment Tonight,” is now on YouTube and can also be viewed on ew.com.
McLendon-Covey and Williams' fellow comedians, among many others in Hollywood, tweeted their reactions soon after news of Williams’ passing broke. The actress wrote, “I’m shocked. This can’t be happening! What a huge loss,” and Steve Martin posted, “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”
Williams' finished projects are still slated for release. "A Merry Friggin' Christmas" will arrive in theaters on November 7.