Zelda Williams directs JoJo's video tribute to late dad
09 January 2016
Robin Williams' daughter Zelda has made her directorial debut by stepping behind the camera for singer JoJo's emotional musical tribute to her late father.
The Leave (Get Out) star's Save My Soul single was inspired by her dad Joel Levesque's struggle with addiction, and she released the accompanying video on Friday (08Jan16), on what would have been his 61st birthday.
JoJo, 25, recruited her friend, Zelda Williams, to direct the promo, after both witnessing the impact of addiction first-hand.
"Save My Soul is about addiction. Of all kinds," the singer says in a statement. "I wanted to convey the feeling of powerlessness I've felt in my life in an uncomplicated way and show a range of what it might look like for others who've been there."
JoJo's father passed away in November (15), but she reveals she began mourning his loss years before as a result of his personal struggles.
"His death honestly felt like it came out of nowhere... and yet I had been mourning him for years... if that makes any sense," she continues. "I know all too well from seeing it around me that the fight is not easy. It's every day. All consuming. I'm not mad at my dad. I love him and I'm sad. He is my greatest heartbreak. This song, which had always been personal to me, takes on even deeper meaning now."
She adds, "Losing my father at the end of last year and knowing the propensity for addiction of all kinds that runs deep in my blood from both sides makes it next-level important for me to LIVE - not just be alive, but THRIVE in his honor. I can do this."
JoJo has been friends with Zelda since starring alongside her dad, tragic comedian Robin, in 2006 movie RV, and the 26-year-old is grateful to have been given the chance to take charge of her first piece of film.
"To say the 'Save My Soul' video means a lot to me would be an understatement of stupendous proportions," Zelda writes on Tumblr.com. "It's not just that Jo and I have been wanting to collaborate for most of the 10 years we've been friends, though that's certainly an important part of it... nor is it the terrifying fact that this was my first turn getting to direct, an honor and responsibility I'm still shocked the 'grownups' let me do. It's not even our shared experiences with addiction and loved ones who suffered from them, though that is the very real inspiration behind this song and video...
"In the end, the thing I am most grateful for is the trust Jo had in me to help her tell a story I know has been percolating in her for a very, very long time."
Robin Williams, who had a history of substance abuse, committed suicide in August, 2014, aged 63.