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Cary Elwes Reflects Back on ‘The Princess Bride’

Cary Elwes
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images/MGM

Cary Elwes, the erstwhile Westley from ‘The Princess Bride,’ recently took questions from fans after a screening of the classic 1987 movie, revealing some inside facts about the filming of the beloved flick.

Many predicted mega-stardom for Elwes after his appearance in ‘Princess Bride,’ and while he’s certainly kept busy, he said he’s perfectly fine with Westley being the role for which he’s best known.

He even joked that his tombstone will probably have “As you wish,” the line spoken so often to Robin Wright’s Princess Buttercup — and a line that, oddly enough, he’s never said to his wife when she asks him to do something.

Elwes also talked at length about the fencing he had to do in the movie, saying it was made all the harder by the fact that he’d never fenced before and had to do it left-handed (he’s a natural righty).

In addition, after director Rob Reiner told Elwes and Mandy Patinkin (who played Inigo Montoya) that he wanted the sword-fighting scene to be longer, the actors watched a slew of sword-fighting movies. After learning 1952′s ‘Scaramouche’ held the record for the longest fencing duel ever caught on film, Elwes and Patinkin set out to beat it — and did.

And Westley’s “half dead” condition? Elwes came up with that himself, laughing that Andre the Giant earned his pay in those final scenes where he’s hauling Westley around the castle.

While many of the fans in attendance at the Q&A had seen the movie many times — some were even in costume for the occasion — Elwes said the one and only time he’s watched it was at its premiere some 25 years ago. But that said, he looks forward to sharing it with his 5-year-old daughter when she’s old enough to appreciate it.

Seeing ‘The Princess Bride’ just once? Inconceivable!

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