The thought that there could be a more wonderful and romantic movie than The Princess Bride is completely inconceivable. The cast was impeccable, the story was romantic, and the jokes were hilarious. Everything about this movie is basically perfect. But what do the people who made it think?
It's been 30 years since the movie came out, but the cast and director are still happy to talk about it. The movie was brought to life by director Rob Reiner, based on his favorite book The Princess Bride, but originally the studios didn't want him to make it.
“It was an impossible sell,” said Reiner. “The funny thing about it was that before I made ‘Stand by Me’ — I had made ‘Spinal Tap’ and ‘The Sure Thing’ — I had a meeting with this executive at Paramount. She said, ‘We love your films. What do you want to do next? I said, ‘Well, you don’t want to do what I want to do.’ She said, ‘No, that’s not true. I want to do what you want to do. I said, ‘No, no. You want me to do what you want to do.’ She said, ‘No, no. I want to do what you want to do. What is it?’ I said ‘The Princess Bride.’ She said, ‘Well, anything but that.'”
Finally, producer Norman Lear came along and financed the movie so they could begin to create one of the most epic classics ever made.
Robin Wright was cast as Princess Buttercup and she "was honored and petrified." She was working on a daytime soap at the time, and the transition to movie star was a lot to take in. Luckily, "it was just the warmest family" and she loved everyone on set.
She was particularly fond of one cast member, Andre the Giant. She shared just how sweet he was...
Andre the Giant was 7'4" and weighed over 500lbs. He played Fezzik the giant and is basically the best character in the movie. He was incredibly kind and gentle despite his intimidating size. Chris Sarandon, who played Prince Humperdinck, had an awkward encounter when he brought his daughters to meet the famous wrestler.
Sarandon said, "He was sitting down at the end of his makeup table and we walked up the steps and turned the corner. My daughter Stephanie took one look at Andre and started screaming at the top of her lungs and she wouldn’t stop. Of course, her sister picked up on it and she started screaming. We had to take them out immediately. I went back and said, ‘Andre, I’m so sorry. Please forgive their behavior.’ And he said, ‘No, no, no. Either they come to me or run from me.'”
But Wright was never afraid of him at all. She shared a story that proved without a doubt that Andre the Giant was a sweet and caring man. “We’re in the middle of the forest and we’d be standing next to each other in our costumes and it’s freaking cold and wet," Wright explained. "He put his hands on my head literally to keep me warm from shivering. His hands covered my whole head. The heat from his hand was like an electric blanket. He was just very sweet and thoughtful. He would always hand me his coat if my coat wasn’t nearby. Really sweet.”
Another iconic moment in the movie is the sword fight. Carey Elwes (Westley), explained that both he and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya), learned each other's parts. Elwes said that it was at the instruction of the stunt coordinator. “He said, ‘If you learn the other guy’s part, you know what you are going do and so there’s no chance of an accident.'” Elwes remembered.
The hardest scene to film may have actually been the most fun. Billy Crystal's amazing portrayal of Miracle Max was so well done and hilarious that even the director had to leave the set to calm down.
Crystal describes the movie as one of the "great experiences that are really about what movies, the magic of making a movie is about. Here you are working with a Bill Goldman script, a brilliant group of actors, and a bold director who would take this kind of movie on to make a simple, beautiful, funny story like this.”
The cast loved making the movie, and honestly it shows. Patinkin has said that "every time Rob would say ‘Cut! Print it,’ my heart would sink, because it meant we didn’t get to do that part again.” Obviously the movie has meant a lot to so many of us, and every time you watch it again it just gets better and better.