It may be hard to believe, but Rob Reiner’s classic adventure comedy “The Princess Bride” celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. In honor of the milestone, the Man in Black, aka actor Cary Elwes, is hitting the road for a special Q&A and movie screening tour, which stops at the Wilbur Theatre on Friday night.
Although “The Princess Bride” wasn’t exactly a hit when it first swash-buckled its way into theaters in 1987, the fantasy flick starring Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal has turned into a cult phenomenon over the years. Fans just can’t seem to get enough of this quirky family film and its endlessly quotable moments.
“I’m mystified by it,” Elwes says of the movie’s continued success. “If I knew, I’d guess we’d all make another film. It’s a beautiful thing!”
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Looking back on the experience, the 54-year-old British star is honored to have worked with such wonderful cast mates, like the towering, “8th wonder of the world” Andre the Giant. But this favorite part was probably traveling around the picturesque European countryside and pitching tents with “The Princess Bride” crewmembers.
While dueling with Patinkin’s Inigo Montoya was one of the film’s biggest highlights, the man behind the always-loyal Westly found the silver screen swordplay a bit difficult to master.
“The fencing was hard,” Elwes admits. “I just worked with [Patinkin] again in Spain. He’s a lovely man.”
Although he doesn’t plan on throwing down with Patinkin or a pro wreslter like Andre again any time soon, fighting seems to be in Elwes’ DNA. While working with Marlon Brando way back in the day, the late-great Hollywood icon once nicknamed him “Rocky” after the legendary Brockton-born boxer Rocky Marciano.
“I don’t know [why he called me that], I think it was just based on his love of Rocky Marciano,” Elwes says. “I did box for a while with Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini.”
As for his upcoming trip to Boston, the veteran actor is excited to visit the city after so many years. Elwes got a taste of the Back Bay area and other parts of town while visiting his older brother Damian during his stint at Harvard University.
“I love Boston,” Elwes says. “I have a great fondness for it.”
If you go:
Friday, May 19, 7:30 p.m., Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., $31-$102, thewilbur.com.