“As You Wish.” Anyone who grew up during the 1980’s should immediately recognize those three iconic words from Rob Reiner’s timeless classic The Princess Bride and now, they’re also the title of a new memoir from the film’s star, Cary Elwes, which has been tearing it up on the New York Times’ bestseller list since it was released a few weeks ago.
Elwes has more to celebrate these days too; the long-time actor who has appeared in a variety of projects like Glory, Hot Shots!, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Twister, Dracula, Kiss the Girls, The X-Files, Shadow of the Vampire and Liar Liar, has also been spending some time recently reminiscing about his role as Doctor Gordon in honor of Lionsgate’s recent re-release of James Wan’s Saw.
Elwes, busy promoting the release of his book As You Wish, recently chatted with Daily Dead briefly about his involvement in the Saw franchise and discussed whether or not he thinks Doctor Gordon’s story reached its ultimate conclusion after the release of Saw 3D in 2010. Elwes also discussed his experiences working on As You Wish and shared some fun Princess Bride stories as well.
Congratulations on everything with your new book and with the recent 10th anniversary of Saw too; it seems like you’ve been pretty busy over the last few weeks?
Cary Elwes: Thank you; it has been busy but it’s all been great fun.
Let’s start off by talking a bit about Saw; at that point in your career, you weren’t necessarily known as a ‘horror guy’ so I was hoping you could chat about what it was you first saw in James that gave you the confidence in a then-untested filmmaker and were you surprised by the film’s success when it was released?
Cary Elwes: I was very surprised, but I believed in James and his vision. I’m someone who always likes to mix up my roles and I was flat-out impressed by both James and Leigh after our first meeting. They both had these incredible ideas and had such an unbelievable attention to detail about everything in the film, it was just amazing. That’s the kind of talent I appreciate and the kind of talent I always want to be working with.
James had brought his sketchbook with him and the Billy puppet he had made back in Australia that he had brought with him when he flew to Los Angeles, and I knew this guy had it figured out. Plus, I just really loved his style and was even happier once I saw the final film.
I’m a big fan of the Saw films and was very excited to see Doctor Gordon’s return for Saw 3D. Had you known earlier on that your character would eventually be making his return and do you think (considering the ending of Saw VII) Gordon’s story has finally been told to completion?
Cary Elwes: Well, they had originally wanted to bring my character back for Saw V, but it didn’t work out schedule-wise so I told them that what I really wanted was to come back for the very last movie in the series. So to me, I don’t think there’s anything left to tell with Doctor Gordon and I was very happy how they left the character by the conclusion of Saw 3D.
I think it’s safe to say that anyone who grew up in the 1980’s is most likely a fan of The Princess Bride and it’s still a film that’s revered and continues to find new and old fans alike. How much fun has it been for you to reminisce about this film and see the impact it’s continued to have on the lives of those who worked on it and with the fans as well?
Cary Elwes: The biggest blessing for me throughout the process of working on As You Wish was being able to share all these stories- many I didn’t know myself- with all of these incredibly talented people who worked on The Princess Bride. This process has been a total joy for me and I think fans of the movie will really enjoy hearing a lot of these stories that have never been shared before.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about The Princess Bride while you were working on As You Wish?
Cary Elwes: I think the most surprising thing I heard was how Wallace Shawn spent most of his time worried he was going to be fired during The Princess Bride and that he would be replaced by Danny DeVito. That wasn’t anything I was aware of during production and that really shocked me. But Danny DeVito as Vizzini? That’s just inconceivable (laughs).