The cast of The Princess Bride reunited for a live reading of the movie script. Returning cast members Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Chris Sarandon and Christopher Guest read their original roles for the movie. Rob Reiner filled in for the late Peter Falk, Josh Gad for the late Andre the Giant, Eric Idle for Peter Cook and Finn Wolfhard for Fred Savage.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for The Priness Bride.]
The event was a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. After the reading, the cast answered questions in a Q&A moderated by Patton Oswalt. Patinkin shared his emotional plea for fans to honor the message of The Princess Bride in 2020.
William Goldman’s ‘The Princess Bride’
William Goldman wrote the novel, The Princess Bride. It is the story of Buttercup (Wright) and Westley (Elwes). When Westley is presumed dead, Buttercup agrees to marry Prince Humperdink (Sarandon). But Westley has taken on the mantle of the Dread Pirate Roberts. He teams up with Inigo Montoya (Patinkin) and the giant Fezzik (Andre), who originally worked for evil kidnapper Vizzini.
Rob Reiner directed the 1987 movie adaptation of The Princess Bride, for which Goldman wrote the screenplay. Patinkin played Montoya, who has spent his life dedicated to avenging his father’s death. Humperdink’s Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) is the murderer, and Montoya is victorious in their final duel.
The lesson Mandy Patinkin learned from ‘The Princess Bride’
Montoya gets his revenge on Count Rugen, but what he discovers after is most important. It even took Patinkin years to grasp the weight of his own character.
“I didn’t even realize it until I was in my 50s,” Patinkin said. “[Montoya says,] ‘I have been in the revenge business so long. Now that it’s over, I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.’ In a world filled with hatred and bigotry, where black lives need to matter… we have to stop being hateful and revengeful and we have to embrace what William Goldman’s final words were in the script that we’re all so blessed to be a part of, which is ‘As you wish.’”
Mandy Patinkin believes ‘as you wish’ means more than ‘I love you’
Westley always says “as you wish” to Buttercup when he works on her farm. The narrator, the grandfather (Falk), reveals Westley means “I love you.” That’s how he reveals his true identity to Buttercup later. However, Patinkin says “as you wish” is even more than that.
“Those geniuses always wrote down what they wished for and couldn’t necessarily realize those wishes in their lifetime, but they left it for the rest of us to have for the rest of eternity,” Patinkin said. “He left this as his wish for people to take care of each other and embrace each other. Never was this more potent than whats’ going on right now. We need to move away from revenge and into caretaking on every imaginable level.”