Monday, July 31, 2017

As You Wish: inconceivable tales from the making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Whether you've seen The Princess Bride once or 100 times, As You Wish by Cary Elwes is a gem of a read (or a listen... more on that in a bit). Cary Elwes, the actor who played Westley in The Princess Bride, has written this charming memoir/oral history telling the story of filming this 80s classic.

Elwes details his casting, meeting director Rob Reiner and author William Goldman, and  his first meetings with fellow actors, Robin Wright and Mandy Patinkin.  He describes the filming process, and the strenuous rehearsals for the "best sword fight in movie history". There are short passages written by other members of the cast and crew -- one of my favorite anecdotes in the book is from Billy Crystal, describing the process of designing his makeup for his cameo role.

This is definitely a case where I would recommend the audiobook over the print, as Elwes himself reads his work, along with many of his fellow cast and crew. His charming Brittish accent and self-effacing humor make for a light, fun listen, and I found myself frequently laughing out loud while I listened.

If you enjoy As You Wish, I would recommend other celebrity memoirs on audio -- some of my recent favorites have been Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham and Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick.


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