Tonight, nearly all the living cast members of the 1987 masterpiece fantasy comedy The Princess Bride held a virtual reunion to help raise money for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, likening Donald Trump to Prince Humperdinck and speaking of the importance of turning Wisconsin blue in November.
Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal and Carol Kane were joined by a number of special guests to read through the script and answer questions from moderator Patton Oswalt after.
Director Rob Reiner filled in as the grandfather for the late Peter Faulk, noting that his own father, Carl Reiner, had recreated that scene with him just before his death. “He played the grandfather, and I played the kid,” he recalled. “His biggest wish was to stay alive to vote Donald Trump out of office.”
Josh Gad attempted to fill the extra large shoes of Andre the Giant. Afterwards the cast told several stories about the legendary wrestler, most involving the mind-boggling volumes of liquor he consumed to help deal with his back pain, but also just to illustrate what a sweet human being he was.
Other guests included Finn Wolfhard as the Grandson (Fred Savage), Whoopi Goldberg as the Ancient Booer (Margery Mason), Eric Idle as the Impressive Clergyman (Peter Cook), Sean Ross as the Albino and Jason Reitman as the Narrator. Technical difficulties had some actors covering multiple roles.
“I was born in ‘81, and I remember it being one of the first movies I ever saw,” Gad said. “It was a movie I think I ‘accidentally stole’ from Blockbuster. I just showed it to my girls about a year ago for the first time, and now it’s one of their movies. It transcends generations.”
“Almost any animated movie that’s been made since the Princess Bride has been chasing The Princess Bride,” said Reitman. “It was a perfect movie where every character has an important scene. Everybody gets a win.”
Crystal wore his original Miracle Max hat and had his house decorated with Princess Bride memorabilia. He fondly recalled his three days of shooting despite having to arrive at 2 a.m. alongside Carole Kane to get in the intricate makeup he said was based on photos he brought to the artist of Yankees manager Casey Stengel and Crystal’s grandmother. Elwes told a story of sitting with Crystal at lunch and him staying in character when talking to the waitress. “How’s the soup? Is it spicy?” When she answered, “I don’t know,” he said, “You don’t know my colon.”
When asked about a potential director’s cut or sequel to the movie, Reiner said no to both. “I don’t like sequels. I think maybe there’s a musical in this. It lends itself,” suggesting “As You Wish,” “Inconceivable” and “My Name Is Inigo Montoya” as potential songs.
The most enjoyable moment of the night, though, might have been hearing Patinkin and Elwes reminisce about that iconic sword fight. “We developed this whole skill from scratch,” Patinkin said. After shooting each individual sequence, they peformed the whole fight for the overhead cameras. When Reiner said, “Cut. Print it,” it broke Patinkin’s heart because he knew it was over and it was the most fun he’d ever had on a set.
Replays of the event will be available soon for those who donate to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to help, as Reiner put it, “restore the rule of law.” Hope, as it turns out, has only been mostly dead.