Ivan Simon Cary Elwes, known professionally as Cary Elwes, is an English actor and voice actor. He acted in off-Broadway plays during college and moved from England to the United States in the early 1980s. He is known for his roles as Westley in The Princess Bride, Arthur Holmwood in Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Garrett in Quest for Camelot, and Dr. Lawrence Gordon in Saw and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. He appeared in box office hits such as Days of Thunder, Hot Shots!, Twister, Liar, Liar and New Year's Eve. He has had recurring roles in television series such as The X-Files playing Brad Follmer and Psych playing Pierre Despereaux.
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Hi, I'm Cary Elwes and you might know me from The Princess Bride, Saw, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, and Twister...
My new book is called As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride is available for pre-order online now.
You can also find me on various forms of social media through my WhoSay page here: http://www.whosay.com/caryelwes
Victoria is assisting me this evening. AMAA.
Edit Thank you for participating in my reddit ask me anything. I enjoyed answering your questions, and hope my answers were to your satisfaction. Please go out and buy my book, I promise you you'll enjoy it. And maybe I'll be coming to a city near you as part of my book tour. As you wish.
Did Kevin Costner ever say anything about you being the better Robin Hood, because you can speak with an English accent?
When I met him, he was very funny about it. He said "I know you."
In the poison drinking scene in "Princess Bride" what was actually in the cup that you drank?
Grape juice. It was just regular grape juice.
Mr. Elwes, did you ever find out the truth behind the character Pierre Despereaux from Psych? Was he really a con artist?
Also have you ever said, "As you wish," to your wife?
And what was it like working with Mel Brooks?
That's for me to know and for you to find out.
Hi Cary, please share, were you ever able to figure out how to do the CLAW correctly?
I'm still having trouble with it today.
Mr. Elwes, you were my sexual awakening as a teenage girl watching Men In Tights. And The Princess Bride. Oh heavens I loved everything you were in.
Was it hard to keep a straight face during filming Men In Tights? Any wonderful stories from the set?
It was very hard to keep a straight face during filming. Dave Chappelle and I became very good friends, and he just delighted us all. I was just so grateful to Mel Brooks, whom I had admired for so long. My favorite moment, I should say, there were two: one was kung fu with Dave Chappelle, and the other was getting to work with Dom Deluise and Isaac Hayes. I got to work with Isaac Hayes! It was really all Mel, he's a genius, you know?
Are you, in fact, the most dashing man who has ever lived?
I don't know how to answer that. But thank you.
Hi Mr. Elwes, I have two questions for you.
1. I've heard your name pronounced a number of different ways, sometimes one syllable and sometimes two. What is something that the correct pronunciation rhymes with?
2. I have loved a great number of your works, but was especially excited to see you on Psych. Was there anything that stood out to you in that experience as unique to that particular show, versus other shows or movies you've worked on?
[edited for formatting]
Elvis, but with a W.
In every episode as Despereaux, I got to do fun things, like scale a skyscraper, drive a high-powered speedboat, fly a plane, etcetera. Loads of fun things to do. We just laughed everyday.
what question do you want to ask reddit?
What is your favorite thing you've seen me in?
Cary Love your movies Robin HoodMen In tights , The Crush , Saw and my favortie The Princess Bride! Can you tells us more about Andre The Giant and how much he could drink and what? Thanks Ps the claw is coming to get you!
Andre could drink more than anyone I've ever met. And the reason he drank so much was because he was in a lot of pain from back injuries. But he never complained. He always had a smile on his face. And so went drinking with him one night in NY, and all I did all night was sip a beer, and he thought it was quite amusing. He could drink 103 beers in one sitting. One sitting. And not pass out or anything, or even tipsy!
It was like Bill Goldman said: it's like the Pentagon. No matter how big people tell you it's going to be, it's always bigger when you're in front of it. He was like the Eighth Wonder of the World. He was one of the sweetest people I'd ever met.
craziest fan story ?
I met a fan once who had "As you wish" tattooed on the back of her neck... she wanted me to autograph it so she could have my signature added too. Initially I hesitated but her mother insisted.
If you were asked to return as Robin Hood in Robin Hood 2: Men in Slacks (Working Title), would you reprise the role? But seriously, there needs to be a sequel!
You must send all of your inquiries care of Mel Brooks' office.
What was it like working on the original Saw movie, and seeing such a low-budget production go on to become such an incredibly profitable franchise over the years? Did you and the others involved feel like it would be a success? Thanks for doing this!
No, we didn't now it at all. We shot it in 18 days, for a budget of $1 million dollars, and it made $100 million dollars on its opening weekend. We were obviously very happy.
Any good Billy Crystal stories?
Billy Crystal's medieval Yiddish standup caused Rob Reiner and myself to be banished from the set, and Mandy Patinkin to bruise a rib from laughing.
Do you still know the dance from Robin Hood: Men in Tights?
Also, thanks for the Princess Bride. It's my favourite movie of all time.
No, no I don't. I'm sure you do though.
If you were to appear on Comedy Central's Drunk History, what historical person would you talk about?
Would it be American History or English History?
I think Sir Walter Raleigh.
Does Wallace Shawn's voice really sound like that?
Any funny stories from the set of Liar Liar you care to talk about?
I remember we were all very impressed with Jim Carrey actually smashing his head on the concrete bathroom floor when he was beating himself up...
Lot of funny outtakes with Jim ad-libbing.
Mr. Elwes, thanks for doing an ama! I remember your work from the Studio Ghibli Film, The Cat Returns. How did you enjoy doing voice work versus on screen acting?
Less hair and make-up involved. I really enjoy doing voiceover work.
One of the best episodes of "Seinfeld" included you and Debra Messing as guest stars.
Will you share a little information about how you came to star in that episode or a story or two about working with the cast?
Yes. It was such a thrill to get that call because it was one of my favorite shows, and it still is. And to see all these wonderful actors in their characters, just was really a thrill for me. I couldn't believe i was working on that show, I couldn't believe i got the call, that I was actually shooting it. It was the first time I did a sitcom, so I was a little nervous, but they all made me feel very welcome. All the characters they played reminded me very much of the 4 characters of the Wizard of Oz, you know? Because you had Jerry, who was basically the Tin Man - he had no heart. You had George, who was the Cowardly Lion, and Kramer was the Scarecrow, because he had no brain, and Elaine was Dorothy, because she was lost. I didn't come up with that, it was Annie Liebovitz, but I remember when that photograph came out, I thought the same thing when I was on the set watching the four of them.
Just wanted to share my story how I got to meet you in my hometown Kraków in Poland while you were filming the John Paul II movie there back in 2004. Thank you for an autograph and taking the photo with me HERE.
I grew up watching Men In Tights on a repeat and to meet you was definitely one of the coolest and most surreal experiences of my life therefore thanks a milion for being so nice. I told you back then I loved when you did "Liar, Liar" with Jim Carrey and...
...My question is if you're ever planning to work with Jim again? Don't wanna sound stalker-ish but few years ago I saw on his Twitter that you guys were still hanging out.
BTW Very much looking forward to "A Bit of Bad Luck"!
Stay cool, you're awesome.
Thank you for your kind words, I really enjoyed Krakow and enjoyed meeting you.
I would love to work with Jim again, if we could find the right project together.
I already plan to, but let's pretend that isn't true: why should I buy your book?
You should buy my book because there are tales in there that you never knew of about the making of The Princess Bride that will make you see the film in a whole new light - in a good way.
Thanks for the reply . Do you still think ROUS don't exist ? That was a great fight scene . I bet the guy in the suit wasn't to happy getting punched lol.
Yes, he had pounds of latex over him so he couldn't feel it.
How does it feel to be a Robin Hood that can actually speak in an English accent?
It felt like being a Robin Hood that could speak with an English accent!
What is your opinion on the existence of R.O.U.S.'s?
I could spot 'em from a mile away! There's plenty in Hollywood.
What was the best part about "Hot Shots?"
Sneaking a goat into Charlie Sheen's trailer and filming his reaction.
Thank you so much for doing this AMA! You've been in so many things over the years, and so many of my favorites, I have to ask.
What has been your favorite project and why is it The Princess Bride?
Really though, which project was the most challenging for you, and why?
Because it was the movie that changed my life. And gave me the career I have today. It was my first big Hollywood movie. And because... I laughed every day on set. People ask me "was it as much fun to make as it looks?" and I say "It was more fun." It was a fairytale come true.
Do you have any memorable moments with fans? If so, what made the experience memorable?
I always like meeting my fans. I never get tired of it. I once met a fan who said "Wait a minute - don't tell me" and I said "Cary Elwes" and they said "No, that's not it." and I said "Yes it is" and they said "No, no it's not." and this went on for a good 5 minutes... so they really had mistaken me for someone else.
Is there a particular funny story about working with Mel Brooks?
Yes. He told me, before lunch, that he wanted me to fire a bull's eye during the Archery scene, and told me I had all of lunch to practice.
Half an hour later, we get back from lunch, and I'd only gotten one bull's eye during practice. When the camera started to roll, I got one on the fifth take. And you can still see the shock on my face in the scene.
Shadow of the Vampire was an underrated gem, it was almost a love love letter the silent movie era, can you tell us anything interesting about working on that? Any stories about the cast?
You also voiced The Baron in the English dubs of Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns, was doing voice work challenging?
Yes, that was a delight, and I loved working with a number of actors i admire, including John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe, who had to spend 5 hours in the makeup chair, poor fellows. And Eddie Izzard who is one of my favourite comedians. We filmed it in Luxembourg, a very small country in Europe that contains some of the largest gold deposits in the world.
No, doing voice work is fun. You sit in a darkened room with a microphone and create a character with your voice.
Is there any particular movie or TV genre that you haven't done yet but would like to?
Carey! You probably won't remember, but my girlfriend and I got the opportunity to be your drivers at Dragon-Con. While in my van, you mentioned that your book is coming out and then we had a lovely chat about André, his enormous leathery ballsack, Samuel Beckett, and the diaspora of talent transferring from film to television. Talking with you was a wonderful experience and I will definitely be grabbing a copy of your book as soon as I am able.
I have a few questions, one of which I believe I asked you in the van, but here goes:
If you could play a character in the Marvel universe, who would you choose?
You and your wife are one of the most attractive and talented couples I've ever seen, do you still attend chili cook offs?
Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
Do you have a favorite lesser known travel destination?
Do you have a favorite book?
And of course what is your favorite food (Entree and Junk food option)?
Thanks! We hope to see you at Dragon-Con again next year!
In the Marvel Universe... maybe Dr. Doom?
When I'm in town, yes.
The one I just wrote.
Hi, Cary! Thanks for doing this AMA. What is your favorite place that you've traveled to? Also, what's your favorite movie?
My favourite place I've ever traveled to is Spain. And my favourite movie Apocalypse Now.
First off, I'm a huge Princess Bride fan and cannot wait to read your book! I'm a high school teacher,and I always try to find a way to show The Princess Bride to my classes to expose new generations to this timeless story and movie.
Anyway! My question. I remember reading a few years ago about you performing in the live read of The Princess Bride as Prince Humperdinck. What was it like for you to revisit the story again and play the villain?
Weird! Just because I was playing Humperdinck instead of Westley.
Hello, I loved your work in Psych, and Princess Bride.
Any fun behind the scenes moments from either of those?
Well, all the behind-the-scenes moments from Princess Bride can be found in my book. And for Psych - I think I hot sauce in Dule's sandwich, and he still ate it!
Hi Cary! Long time fan of your work.
Two quick q’s:
It seems as though costume pieces are a prerequisite to acting in the U.K. Did you enjoy doing such works, specifically a piece like Lady Jane?
You’ve played good and bad guys. We have to admit we love both but you do a really great job playing “the baddies.” What draws you to characters like Jonas in Twister and Nick Ruskin in Kiss the Girls?
1) Yes. I did enjoy making Lady Jane. In fact, it was Lady Jane that Rob Reiner saw that helped convince him to cast me in The Princess Bride!
2) I never view the character as good for bad, I just try to find the humanity in the character.
Do you have a favorite Errol Flynn film?
Adventures of Robin Hood.
Thanks for doing this AMA!
I've introduced The Princess Bride to the current generations of Japanese university students. Many of them are into horror and recognize you from Saw.
My question is about Dracula. What was it like hearing the various attempts at a UK accent by the non-Brits on set?
Well, everyone did very good English accents, actually. We had a voice coach on the set with us for all the actors, so everybody worked very hard on that. It was great fun to work with Coppola, who is one of my favourite directors of all time.
Hi Cary! I met you a few times when you were here in SLC, UT for Comic Con! I dunno if you remember me, but you gave me like a million hugs (Thank you!!!) As we talked about having confidence and self esteem issues... You mentioned that you too have had similar issues, (even though it's hard to believe with you being so handsome and talented!) You told me that meditation helps, is there anything else you do that helps?! Also, what's the most extreme thing you've done to get into a character, and which character was it?! Thank you- Jax
You're more than welcome, I remember meeting you. Yes, I have meditation, writing a journal helps, and exercise.
The hardest role I had to get into - I think playing a serial killer was probably hardest. It wasn't the most fun headspace to be in.
Cary, one of my favorite movies of yours is twister. In this movie you play a rather different role from all of your others. Did you enjoy filming twister?
Yes, I enjoyed filming Twister. One of the other great things was that we shot very close to Iowa, so I got to visit the real Bridges of Madison County, and the house that they filmed the movie in, which is now a museum.
Hi, Cary. What are your favourite horror movies? Are you a fan of horror genre?
My favourite horror film is the Shining by Stanley Kubrick. And yes, yes I am. When it's made well.
I like Insidious.
I loved your role as Brad Follmer on the X-Files. Do you have any favorite memories from working on the show?
Yes. I enjoyed working on that show. The wonderful cast & crew, and we had a special thrill in the last few episodes when Chris Carter came in to direct. The character was very ambitious, and very by the book.
I am a big fan of your work. Do you have any funny stories to tell about filming The Princess Bride?
Thank you for doing this!
My pleasure, thank you.
Yes, Andre the Giant could only get around on the Derbyshire Moors set on an all-terrain vehicle. One day, he convinced me that I should try it out. Foolishly, I did, and within minutes I drove over a rock and broke my left toe. It was three weeks before we were due to film the sword fight scene. And so I hadn't fully healed by the time they shot that.
Cary, can you tell us something about you that we don't know, and something we'd never guess? ;)
I spent a lot of my childhood in Spain. I'm doing these interviews in my underwear!
So, how many beers do you think you drank with André while filming The Princess Bride?
Just a couple. Everyone paced themselves. Because Andre could drink anyone under the table.
Hello Mr. Cary Elwes! (Or is it Rocky..?)
First of all, I still LOVE The Princess Bride and it's remained one of my favorite movies since my nana introduced me to it.
What was your favorite thing about the production of that movie? I would love to know.
I was just thrilled to be working with such a tsunami of power, starting with William Golden, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Chris Sarandon, Chris Guest, Wally Shawn, Carol Kane, Fred Savage, Mandy Patinkin, Robyn Wright, and of course Andre the Giant...But I was in awe of them all.
Hey Mr. Elwes!
You have been in a diverse range of movies. What was your favorite movie/part to be a part of?
Princess Bride, which is why I've written this book.
Hi Cary. I met you at Salt Lake City Comic Con. I was the very frazzled girl who had the president of the Cary Elwes fan club card from 1994. First off, thank you so much for being so sweet and kind (once a president, always a president!). You made my con.
I have been checking out the book signings you have coming up. Any chance of doing one in Denver or a nearby area? Will there be more signings added?
If you visit this page it lists out all of my official appearances. I sadly do not believe we will be in Denver.
I am so excited for your book “As you Wish” to come out. Thank you for putting that out there as I am sure you are asked about experience filming The Princess Bride all the time even though you have done so many things. My question is about Psych though. What was it like to be Despereaux and working with James Roday and Dulé Hill?
I had so much fun working on that show. James and Dule in particular were just a delight to work with. All I can remember is laughing pretty much every day.
Hi Cary! I'm sure everyone else is saying it, but I'm a huge fan, and The Princess Bride is my all time favorite movie!
If you had to choose, and it's you fighting it, not an acting role, would you rather go up against a Tornado, Jigsaw, or an ROUS?
Rodent of Unusual Size. I would beat it with difficulty.
What is the best film you've recently seen?
Okay. I would say...Boyhood.
As someone who can make people laugh as well as act, did you ever have the opportunity to improvise or write your own scenes in The Princess Bride? If so which ones?
I improvised all of the "being mostly dead" physical behavior. The dialogue in the film was pretty much set - the only person who improvised their dialogue was Billy Crystal as Miracle Max. Doing the physical comedy was fun.
What are your thoughts on the recently talked about Princess Bride stage adaptation? Are there things you think need to appear?
Well, all I know is that it's a go on Broadway, and I'm sure they will do a brilliant job on it. They don't need any advice from me. Plenty of song titles to choose from, that's for sure.
This is a bit of an obscure question, but it's been bugging me and a friend of mine for a few years now. We both watched an English dub of a German animated cult film called Felidae years ago. The gist of it is that it is a neo-noir film in which primarily the entire cast of characters are cats.
Official information on the English dub's cast seems to be non-existent on the web, as it was never actually released in the West. However, we both noticed that the lead character of Francis sounded a helluva lot like you, and many people who've watched this same film appear to agree. Ring any bells?
No, I don't believe I was involved in that. It might be my Doppelgänger.
I love your movies, especially you in Days Of Thunder. Did you want to do comedy or be a more serious actor?
I like doing both.
Hi Cary, what makes you laugh & what's your biggest weakness? Also, what would you say is your best feature (physical or otherwise)?
My daughter makes me laugh. My biggest weakness is also my daughter. And I don't know, you'd have to ask somebody else, I don't really focus much on my features.
What's the word on Elvis & Nixon? Is that still happening?
No. Sadly, no.