It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since The Princess Bride was released into the world. Timed to the release of the anniversary DVD and Blu-ray, Cary Elwes and others of the cast have joined together for a giveaway to benefit Mercy Corps, a Charity Navigator 4-star-rated non-profit that fights poverty through community building.
Among the rewards for donating: Rob Reiner’s Beard Hair. No, really. If that’s not your cup of tea (a disturbing juxtaposition of images if there ever was one), you can instead choose a “Mostly Dead” certificate signed by Miracle Max. Or an original script singed by Elwes, Robin Wright, and director Rob Reiner. Or, best of all, a sealed glass jar into which has been spoken one golden “As You Wish” by none other than Elwes himself. Dreamy! Go here for the details.
Elwes remembered meeting with Reiner for the first time about the original film. “I was filming in Germany,” he remembers, “and he flew out with his producer Aaron Scheinman, and they met me in my hotel room. It was a wonderful meeting. I was enthralled by the idea of working with Rob. I grew up with All in the Family, and obviously I had seen Spinal Tap quite a number of times. So I was really excited about the prospect and we parted on a handshake, and that was that.”
We asked Elwes about his preparation for the role, knowing that he comes from an artistic family. Was he steeped int he work of the great swashbucklers? Could that be one of the reasons he’s the perfect Westley? “I studied them a lot. I’m a major film buff. I had seen a ton of Errol Flynn movies growing up, and Douglas Fairbanks and Burt Lancaster and what have you. So I understood the genre really well. And I read Bill Goldman’s book as a kid, and I loved the way he respected the genres and poked fun of them at the same time. And you know, Rob was the perfect director to do that, at the perfect moment of his career. He absolutely understood the sensibility of it too.”
But the highlight of the conversation was when we asked him, of all the hilarious people in the cast, who the person was who he could always count on for a laugh when he’d had a bad day on set. “I never had a bad day on set,” he said with perfect candor. “Really. We laughed all day, every single day.”
So there you have it. The set of The Princess Bride was every bit as magical and wonderful as the film itself. Just the way you’d want it to be, right?