Mandy Patinkin: 'Princess Bride' Line is 'Cornerstone' of 'My Life'

The actor was 34 when he played the revenge-obsessed Inigo Montoya, but didn’t fully realize the character's significance until he was in his late 50s.

Twenty-six years later, a single line in The Princess Bride has defined Mandy Patinkin’s life. And no, the line doesn’t include the words “you killed my father" or "prepare to die.”

The actor was 34 when he shot the film, but he wouldn’t realize the gravity of his final line in the movie until decades later, he said during The Hollywood Reporter’s drama actor roundtable,

Several years ago in Philadelphia, Patinkin was working out when he noticed the final scene of The Princess Bride was on a nearby TV. In the scene, his character Inigo Montoya stands in the window about to jump down. The man in black (Cary Elwes) asks if he would become the next Dread Pirate Roberts.

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Up to this point, Inigo has dedicated his life to avenging his father’s death and has just achieved this goal. Before he jumps out of the window, he says: “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”

Patinkin said he didn’t understand the significance of that line until that moment in Philadelphia.

“This 34-year-old Mandy who said the line never really realized what I was saying. And then in my late 50s, I heard this line that to me really became the real cornerstone line for at least my character and very much of my life,” Patinkin said. “And that to me is the line that mattered to me. And it was so interesting to me that the kid who said that line didn’t hear it.”

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Patinkin was joined in the roundtable by fellow Emmy contenders Kevin Bacon (Fox's The Following), Jeff Daniels (HBO's The Newsroom), John Slattery (AMC’s Mad Men) Dennis Quaid (CBS' Vegas) and Corey Stoll (Netflix's House of Cards). The discussion was moderated by THR executive editor Matthew Belloni and senior editor Stacey Wilson.