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'Princess Bride' star inspired by legendary Denver actor

As inconceivable as it may seem, the show that's sold out an iconic Denver theater is a showing of a 30-year-old movie you could probably quote better than its star.
Credit: 9NEWS

DENVER — As inconceivable as it may seem, the show that’s sold out an iconic Denver theater is a showing of a 30-year-old movie you could probably quote better than its star.

“I’ve met people who have whole sections of the script tattooed on the body. It’s just insane,” Cary Elwes said.

Elwes is in Denver this week for two special screenings of “The Princess Bride” at the Paramount Theater. After each screening, Elwes talks about his book, “As You Wish,” shares stories about the making of the classic movie and answers questions from the audience. Shows on Thursday and Friday are both sold out.

“I call this movie the gift that keeps on giving,” Elwes said.

Cary Elwes was cast as the swashbuckling straight man, Westley, in the 1987 fantasy film from Rob Reiner.

Elwes said he based his character, in part, on the work of Errol Flynn and Denver native, Douglas Fairbanks.

“One of your famous Denver residents, Douglas Fairbanks, was a great inspiration to me and he has been for quite some time,” Elwes said. “He was the king of Hollywood at one point and one of the greatest swashbucklers of all time.”

Fairbanks was born in Denver in 1883 and became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the early 20th century.

Elwes said old movies like “The Black Pirate,” “Robin Hood” and “The Mark of Zorro” helped inspired his sword fighting scene with costar, Mandy Patinkin.

“I said we should look at all their fight sequences again and really study them in detail and see if we can learn anything from them,” Elwes said.

They learned enough to put together an epic sword fighting scene for The Princess Bride.

Thirty years after the classic film premiered, Elwes knows there’s one character he’ll be remember for well after he’s “mostly dead.”

“When I die, the headlines are going to be, you know, ‘Westley’s gone.’ It’s not going to be any of the other roles that I played. It’s that,” Elwes said.

Elwes will take the stage at the Paramount Theater Friday at 7:30 p.m. for “The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes.”

Cary Elwes shares his thoughts on…

His favorite line

“I love ‘anybody want a peanut’ when Andre says that. I don’t know why. It’s just so silly.”

His castmates

“We’re connected. We’re like a family now, you know. I just saw Billy a week ago. It’s wonderful.”

Remembering André the Giant

“He was a beautiful guy. He was the eighth wonder of the world. You know, they say, people can describe the Pentagon to you, but you have to be standing in front of it to appreciate the size of it and that was the same with Andre. He could block the sun. you knew he was there because you could see this incredible human being walking toward you, and always with the most beautiful smile on his face. He had this secret of understanding the secret of happiness.”


“I love Denver. Love Denver. Love this city. It’s my third time here. When I was selling [my] book, I came to a bookstore here and did some signings and I love this city. It’s a fabulous city. It’s really fun. People are really nice here. Really friendly and they’ve always welcomed me with open arms so I feel very, very blessed to be here.”

His book, “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

“It’s a love letter to the fans, actually. That’s why I wrote it, because I always get asked by fans, ‘was it as much fun making this film as it looked? And I always tell folks, it was much more fun than you could possibly imagine. I mean I can’t remember a single day without laughter, and so I thought, you know what, instead of just trying to fill people in with little anecdotes, why don’t I just write it all down? And so, that’s what I did and turns out, it was a good idea.”

His next film

“I’m actually looking to do a film with Judd Hirsch and Jason Patric. It’s a World War II drama and we start shooting that very soon.”

His tombstone

“My tombstone is going to say, ‘as you wish,’ for sure. That’s cool. Billy Crystal said I should put, “I’m only mostly dead,’ on there. I’ll put that on the back.

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