Mandy Patinkin on Shooting ‘The Princess Bride’ and His Character’s Immortal Catchphrase

mandy-patinkin-princess-brideThe cast of the classic fairytale film The Princess Bride reunited at the New York Film Festival earlier this month for the film’s twenty-fifth anniversary, and though one of the film’s stars, Mandy Patinkin, has other projects to promote — he currently stars on Showtime’s Homeland — Patinkin spoke to NPR about his experience staring in the film as Spanish swordsman Inigo Montoya and whether or not that line of dialogue — you’re probably saying it now — ever gets tiresome to him.

Patinkin, despite a wealth of credits in film, television, and theater, is one of those actors whose entire career is essentially defined by a single line of dialogue: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”  However, despite fans endlessly quoting that line to him, he reveals that he never tires of it, saying that when a fan does it “I have a smile as big as, as big as can be from one end of the room to the other.” 

On why he thinks the line has achieved that rare status of memorable film dialogue, Patinkin says, “First of all, it’s the brilliance of William Goldman‘s genius and the gift he gave all of us with this extraordinary book and then movie, and I just got to be the mailman who delivered it. So I take really no credit for it. It was Rob [Reiner]‘s gorgeous direction. And I’ll never forget, Rob said to me, ‘What I really want the actors to do in this movie is, as though they’re holding their card, their poker cards in their hand, but they’re just hiding one card.’ And the one card was the twinkle in their eye. The one card was the fun they knew was underneath everything they were saying. And I never forgot that image — that there was always a little secret, and that secret was the fun.”

That fun rubbed off on the other cast members, with Patinkin revealing that he especially cherishes the days that he was filming with co-star Billy Crystal.  He confesses, “Those were the three greatest days of my life.  For three days, I stood off camera while Billy Crystal had cataract contact lenses in so he couldn’t see. I was camera left, the camera was between Rob Reiner and myself and we were facing Billy. My job was to keep feeding Billy his off-camera — my off-camera lines so he could keep doing it. He improvised 13th century period jokes, three days straight, 10 hours a day, never the same thing, never the same line twice. Rob got so hysterical on almost every take, he’d have to leave the room because he couldn’t keep quiet from laughing and it would end up on the soundtrack.”  However, that fun also came with a price, with Patinkin revealing, “I bruised the muscles on the side of my rib because I was so tight trying not to laugh.”

And there are two things that are for certain: The Princess Bride will continue to be a beloved classic and Patinkin will continue to hear that line from new fans who are discovering the movie for the first time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bill-hader.jpg
Bill Hader: “I kind of fell into acting” (video)
Bill Hader, starring in the soon to be released The Skeleton Twins, talks about the film and how he fell into acting and then got “crazy lucky” in this quick video from USA Today. Share on Tumblr
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/director-john-carney-narrates-a.jpg
Director John Carney Narrates a Scene from ‘Begin Again’ Starring Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo
Director John Carney (Once) narrates a scene from his new film, Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, the scene shows the first time the two characters meet. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s great.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/holler-if-you-hear-me-gma.jpg
Watch the Cast of Broadway’s ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ Perform ‘California Love’ on GMA
The cast of Broadway’s newest musical, Holler If You Hear Me with music from Tupac Shakur, performed on Good Morning America this morning. Singing ‘California Love’, the cast (including the teriffic Christopher Jackson – read our interview here), show why they’re the most energetic and inspiring group of actors on Broadway. Holler If Ya Hear [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-dawn-of-the.jpg
Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Performance Capture Actor Terry Notary
Actor Terry Notary is 1 of 5 actors playing the apes in the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “When you see armies of apes,” he says, that’s “five of us.” Check out the video where you can watch his performance capture work.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/melissa-mccarthy-daily-show.jpg
Melissa McCarthy and John Stewart Talk About Terrible Commercial Auditions on ‘The Daily Show’
Melissa McCarthy stopped by The Daily Show last week to plug about her new movie, Tammy. She talked about how she loved working with her husband, Ben Falcone (director of Tammy) and then segued into talking about some horrible working situations. The always hilarious McCarthy then started to tell host John Stewart about a particular [...]