'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Cary Elwes on His "Coming of Age" With 'The Princess Bride'

Courtesy of Cary Elwes

The actor gives #pretapodcasts a sneak peek of his new tell-all, including how Colin Firth almost stole his role

There is no Buttercup without her Westley — but there was almost a Princess Bride without Cary Elwes.

Elwes, who shot to fame as the lovelorn farm boy Westley in the classic 1987 Rob Reiner fairy tale farce, discloses in his new memoir As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride that producers were initially thinking of casting Colin Firth in his career-defining role. Elwes joined Off the Cuff to chat about his new book and insists Firth "would have been good" in the role, though he's certainly grateful he wasn't given the chance.

"Whatever it is, sign it. Sign it now," is what Elwes told his agent when Reiner offered him the part after auditioning in a Berlin hotel room in 1986. He walks us through what it was like first meeting the young soap opera star Robin Wright ("We all knew how great she was, even then"), why co-star Wallace Shawn was haunted by the specter of Danny DeVito during shooting, and how Elwes nearly got himself fired thanks to on-set shenanigans with Andre the Giant.

"Numb-nut British actor shuts down production and is sent home," is how he envisioned the headlines before Reiner got wind that Elwes had broken his toe while goofing around on an ATV. Luckily no such thing came to pass and Elwes went on to star in many more hits such as Glory, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Saw, though he names The Princess Bride as the "real coming-of-age film for me." He also tells us why the movie was responsible for an uncomfortable encounter he once had with Bill Clinton.

"Oh my gosh," he thought when the former president recognized him at a party, not realizing The Princess Bride was regular viewing for the Clinton family.

"What's in my FBI file?!"

Listen to Elwes' full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff and be sure to subscribe to #pretapodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.