Why Andre The Giant Almost Turned Down His Princess Bride Role

Sometimes a pro wrestler is so much larger than life that they dwarf the big screen. Hulk Hogan briefly stole Sylvester Stallone's thunder as Thunderlips in Rocky III. John Cena did a bang-up job of spouting sexually confusing dirty talk to Amy Schumer in Trainwreck. And nobody chewed bubblegum and kicked butt better than "Rowdy" Roddy Piper portraying Nada in They Live. However, no wrestler seemed more beautifully suited for a movie role than Andre the Giant as the charismatic Fezzik in The Princess Bride.

In the big screen Andre's gentle, giant heart shined through in a way it never could when he was choking opponents in the ring or smushing "Macho Man" Randy Savage's face with his butt. The role of Fezzik was literally written for him. The Oregonian reports that William Goldman, author of the Princess Bride and screenplay, said in his memoir that he "became convinced that if there ever was to be a movie, [Andre] should be Fezzik, the strongest man." However, things almost didn't go according to script because Andre nearly rejected the part.

Why Andre nearly passed up on a giant opportunity

Princess Bride casting director Jane Jenkins told the Wrap that she when asked screenwriter William Goldman who he had in mind to play Fezzik, he specifically asked for "someone like Andre the Giant." However, getting Andre on board was no small task. At the time he had a match scheduled in Tokyo, Japan that came with a huge paycheck. Andre was no fool and had no desire to part with that money. Convincing him to sign the dotted line was a matter of buying him out of his wrestling contract.

Initially, the match seemed to settle matters. Jenkins recalled, "So we did not have Andre the Giant. So I proceeded to meet every tall person in L.A. and say 'if you didn't duck in through my doorway, you were way too short.'" Other giants auditioned for the role, but none of them could fill Andre's shoes. In the end, serendipity intervened when Andre's match was cancelled, paving the way for his iconic performance.