Are you a fan of the Princess Bride? Then you have to read this article! Great photos, funny stories and interesting facts. Test your Princess Bride knowledge and have fun doing it. Plus, there is a great video at the end!
Is She a Princess or Not? Have you ever wondered why Buttercup is called a princess when she is actually a commoner “born on a small farm?” The secret is revealed in the novel. Humperdinck wanted to marry Buttercup but was only allowed to marry a princess. To get around this, he simply makes Buttercup a princess!
Guess Who Was Actually Royalty!
The Lord in Black
Nephew of the King: Carey Elwes (Westley) is actually a distant nephew of King Henry the eighth and his third wife, Jane Seymour.
The Six Fingered Baron: And Christopher Guest (Count Rugen) is actually the Baron of Saling in the County of Essex!
Who Was a Soap Opera Star?
Robin the Soap Star
She Wanted Out: Robin Wright (Buttercup) has been in the public eye since she was a fourteen year old model in Paris. When she grew older she became a regular on the soap opera, Santa Barbara, but she wanted to do movies.
Made a Deal: When the opportunity came for her to be in The Princess Bride, she made a deal with the Santa Barbara executives. She could take the required time off in exchange for signing on for another nine months with the soap. She agreed reluctantly.
Who Was the Real Boss on the Set?
Everyone Was Called Boss
He Called People Boss: Andre the Giant (Fezzik) habitually called the people that he liked “Boss.” It was a way for him to counteract the intimidation of his towering stature. After all, he was 7’ tall and weighed over 500 pounds!
Find Out Why He Was Lucky!
Andre the Lucky Giant
Giants are Lucky: When Andre the Giant would visit Japan, random people would constantly run up to him so they could touch him. This is because, to the Japanese people, giants are considered lucky. In fact, they even offered to fly him over there at any time!
You Won’t Believe Who Doesn’t Have a Sense of Humour!
Vizzini Just Doesn’t Get Humour
Why is Everybody Laughing? Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) often plays amusing characters and is described by many, including Carey Elwes (Westley), as “so funny.” But in reality, Wallace claims to not know what is funny and says “I do things and people laugh a them. I rarely know what the joke is supposed to be or why they are laughing.”
Reluctant Actor: Before turning to acting, Wallace wrote plays. Eventually someone decided he would be right for a part, and after that the roles just kept coming in!
What Really Killed Inigo’s Father?
You Killed My Father, Prepare to Die!
Killing Cancer: The role of Inigo Montoya was a very personal one to his actor, Mandy Patinkin, as he had lost his own father to cancer when he was young. So when he filmed the scene where he fought the six fingered man, he felt like he was actually fighting and killing the cancer that killed his father.
What Happened to the Man in Black’s Sword!
The Man in Black’s Sword
He Gave it to Rob! Carey Elwes (Westley) wanted to thank the director, Rob Reiner, for allowing him to be a part of The Princess Bride. To do that he gave him the sword that he used in the movie. It is now mounted on Rob Reiner’s wall.
Do You Know Who Else Could Have Been Buttercup?
Princess Leia of Florin
Carrie Fisher Was Wanted! The author, William Goldman, pictured Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars) as the ideal actress to play Buttercup!
Others such as Courtney Cox, Meg Ryan, and Uma Thurman all auditioned as well.
He Actually Flipped a Car Over!
Andre’s Favourite Part of Filming
No One Stared At Him: What Andre the Giant loved the most about filming The Princess Bride was simply that no one looked at him, gawking over his towering height. He felt like he was treated as an equal.
He Flipped Over a Car! This certainly wasn’t always the case. People tended to stare or sometimes even to pick on him. Once at a bar, four men began to taunt him. Andre put up with it for a while but eventually got fed up and chased the men outside. They scrambled into their car, so Andre grabbed it and turned it over onto its roof – with the men inside!
He Was So Nervous He Was Sweating!
The Ghost of Danny Devito
He Thought He Would Be Fired! It’s hard to imagine anybody making a better Vizzini than Wallace Shawn, but did you know that Danny Devito was actually the first choice for the part? Wallace certainly knew! He felt terribly inadequate while filming and was certain that he would be fired at any moment. In the ‘battle of wits’ scene he was so nervous that he was actually sweating!
He recalls that “the ghost of Danny Devito” haunted him every time he said a line.
Who Else Thought They Would Be Fired?
Westley and the ATV
He Broke His Toe! When Carey Elwes (Westley) was riding Andre the Giant’s ATV around on set, he got in an accident and broke his toe. At the time, he was an unknown actor and they had only just started filming so he was convinced that he would be fired.
He had the set nurse splint his toe using twigs and the wardrobe lady cut a hole in the back of his boot just so he could get it on his swollen foot! Then he tried to hide his injury from the director, who of course knew all about it. In the end Carey’s fears were not founded. He remained Westley and they simply worked around his injury.
What Was Inigo’s Most “serious” Injury?
Inigo’s Laughing Injury
Literally too funny! Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya) claims that he didn’t sustain any injuries during the filming of The Princess Bride–except one. In the scenes with Billy Crystal (Miracle Max), apparently he tries so hard to hold in his laughter that he actually bruised his ribs!
And Mandy wasn’t the only one. Billy Crystal’s non-scripted dialogue had the director, Rob Reiner, banished to the hallway for laughing during takes. And Carey Elwes (Westley) who was supposed to be lying dead on the table, eventually had to be traded for a dummy!
Next for the Real Dread Pirate Roberts!
The Dread Pirate Roberts
Roberts Was Real! There really was a “Dread Pirate Roberts” sailing in the Caribbean in the 18th Century. In fact, he is thought to be the most successful pirate that ever lived!
The Writer Tried to Save Buttercup!
Writer Ruins Take
He Thought She Was on Fire! William Goldman, the writer of The Princess Bride, came in late to set one day and saw Buttercup’s dress catch on fire. He was so alarmed that he completely forgot that this was a part of his own script! He called out to warn everyone and instead ruined the take!
He felt so bad afterwards that he was going to leave and had to be persuaded to stay.
Why they Couldn’t Finish Filming the Final Scene.
Smitten With Each Other
It Wasn’t All Acting: Cary Elwes (Westley) and Robin Wright (Buttercup) were very taken with each other in real life as well. Carey recalls not being able to “concentrate on much of anything after that first encounter with Robin.”
They didn’t want their time together to end. In their final scene together (the kiss on horseback), they say that it took more than fifty takes because they kept on making up reasons to have to shoot it again!
Quiz! Who Was Almost a Football Player?
Andre the Giant Football Player
He Was Offered a Contract! The Washington Redskins once tried to recruit Andre to play for them!
He Wanted to Travel: Andre the Giant was from a small village in France. He wanted to travel the world so became a professional wrestler to accomplish this. And he did pretty well! At one time he was the highest paid wrestler in history!
Goldman knew of Andre from wrestling and actually had him in mind when he wrote Fezzik. But he didn’t think they would ever be able to get him interested in the part.
Quiz! Do You Know Who Else Could Have Played the Giant?
I’ll Be Back – But Not As Fezzik…
The Terminator Could Have Been the Giant! Because they thought that they couldn’t get Andre the Giant, other actors were considered for the part of Fezzik, including Arnold Schwarzenegger! By the time the movie went in to production though, Arnold’s fame had skyrocketed, making him unaffordable.
Others such as Liam Neeson also auditioned for the part!
He Was in Constant Pain Throughout Filming.
The Albino Was in Constant Pain
He Was Allergic! Mel Smith (the Albino) had to wear coloured contact lenses for his role in the Princess Bride. Unfortunately, he was allergic to the lens solution, making the entire experience a painful one. He confesses that he has never even watched the movie because he doesn’t want to relive the awful memories!
He Got to Choose Whatever Part He Wanted!
Friends in High Places
Mandy Patinkin didn’t have to audition for the part of Inigo Montoya. In fact, he didn’t have to audition at all. As a personal friend of the director, Rob Reiner, Mandy was simply told the options and asked who he wanted to play!
He chose Inigo because he thought it would be interesting to play the world’s greatest swordsman.
What’s Next? Did the Director Yell At the Actors?
Reiner and the Crying Kids
He’d Yell if He Had To! The director, Rob Reiner, never had a problem with any of the actors on the set of The Princess Bride–luckily, as he certainly isn’t against taking strong measures to get the performance that he wants. On the set of Stand By Me he couldn’t get the child actors to look frightened enough. To solve this, he yelled at the kids till they cried, then filmed the scene again!
He Was Sent to the Hospital!
Rugen Sent Him to the Hospital
He Really Hit Him! In the scene where Count Rugen hits Westley on the head and knocks him out, he is not pretending. Cary Elwes told Christopher Guest that he could really hit him. Although Carey probably wasn’t counting on it being so hard. He ended up in the hospital for a day and the production was temporarily shut down!
Ten Years Later the Show Was a Hit!
As You Wish at the Coffee Shop
He Didn’t Know the Film Was a Hit: The Princess Bride was not a huge hit when it first came out. Yet, unbeknownst to the actors, its following grew slowly and constantly over the years. Ten years after release, Cary Elwes (Westley) ordered his coffee, and was shocked when the barista winked at him and said “as you wish.”
And He isn’t the Only One! Mandy Patinkin (Inigo) loves it that strangers now come up to him every day and quote “my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”
Billy Crystal (Miracle Max) laughs that whenever he eats in public, someone creeps up behind him and asks “is it lean?”
The Creation of Miracle Max
His Grandmother Was the Inspiration: Billy Crystal brought in photos of his Grandmother to inspire the makeup artist in turning him into Miracle Max. The makeup took eight or nine hours to complete and once it was, he never broke character. Even when they went to lunch, he acted like Miracle Max!
Why He Couldn’t Lift Buttercup.
Fezzik’s Failing Strength
He Had Back Problems: By the time Andre came to work on the Princess Bride, he had developed back problems that were so severe that he couldn’t lift anything heavy–including Robin Wright. In the scene where Buttercup jumps from the window and into his arms, she actually had to be supported by wires because he couldn’t hold her himself.
What’s Next? You Won’t Believe Who Could Have Been Westley!
Superman in Black
He Could Have Been Westley! Christopher Reeve (Superman) was originally considered for the role of Westley. But Rob Reiner eventually decided to go with Cary Elwes because of his Robin Hood like quality. Strangely enough Carey went on to play Robin Hood in the spoof, Men in Tights.
Buttercup was almost in a Robin Hood movie as well! Robin Wright was cast as Maid Marian in Prince of Thieves, but had to back out when she became pregnant.
The Voice of the R.O.U.S.’s!
Rob Reiner – A Rodent of Unusual Size
The Director Did the Voice! Or maybe we should just call it the sounds of the R.O.U.S.
There were also actors inside the giant rat suits. Or there was supposed to be. One day the main actor didn’t show up and Carey Elwes was forced to fight the empty rat suit and move its legs around as convincingly as he could.
Thankfully, the actor eventually made it. Apparently he had been in jail!
The Script Was Cursed!
The Curse of the Un-filmable Film
It Was Considered Un-filmable! It took many years for the Princess Bride to get made, as bad luck seemed to follow the project in the early stages. At least twice, a studio head declared their intention to make the film, only to be fired days later (for unrelated reasons).
Eventually William Goldberg, the writer, actually bought his own script back, just so that he could re-market it with a clean slate!
We’ve Almost Made it to the Video! Keep Going!
Rejected By the Army?
Andre the Giant
He Was Drafted: Andre the Giant was drafted for the French army but in the end was rejected simply because he was too big. He couldn’t fit in the trenches, much less the beds and the shoes!
Sadly, he died just six years after The Princess Bride came out, while he was in Paris for his father’s funeral. A very special video was later made in which the remaining Princess Bride actors share their wonderful memories of Andre with the world.
The Special Video!
Everybody Move!!! (Or just watch this video)
Share a moment with the cast of the Princess Bride as they remember Fezzik (Andre the Giant). You will be glad you did!
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