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'The Princess Bride' had a prescient line about mask wearing

Posted September 13, 2020 1:20 p.m. EDT

— The Princess Bride got something right. The cast and director aren't letting it get to their heads.

When the giant Fezzik encounters the masked Westley, the main character in the 1987 cult classic film, the giant asks why he's covering his face.

"It's just that masks are terribly comfortable -- I think everyone will be wearing them in the future," said Westley, presciently.

When CNN anchor Ana Cabrera on Saturday brought up that line to actor Cary Elwes, who played Westley, and director Rob Reiner, they were amazed.

"Boy, oh boy," Reiner said.

"Bill Goldman -- way ahead of his time," Elwes noted, referring to the scriptwriter and author of the book on which the movie was based.

Elwes in July tweeted his support for mask wearing by referencing Inigo Montoya's famous line: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

The actor said he tweeted that message because he felt it was important to cut through the politics that have emerged about wearing masks.

"Every time I tweet a line from 'Princess Bride' it gets a lot of awareness," Elwes said. "Because Rob [Reiner] gave me the blessing of this role that happened to be a character that wears a mask, I took it upon myself to try and use that celebrity of that character to encourage people to wear a mask."

Elwes noted he began wearing a mask in February -- the same time that President Donald Trump told reporter Bob Woodward that he knew the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Woodward's book, "Rage."

"[That's] when the president already knew how dangerous this virus was," Elwes noted. "And yet [he] made fun of people wearing masks. And I find that just unconscionable."

Nearly 200,000 Americans have died from coronavirus "because this man decided to politicize a health issue," Elwes said.

The cast of "The Princess Bride" will reunite at 7 pm ET Sunday to raise money for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. That angered Princess Bride superfan Ted Cruz.

Cruz last week called The Princess Bride "perfect" and said he wishes it would stay out of "Hollywood politics."

Elwes responded that Cruz should "leave the fire swamp."

"Ted Cruz represents, in my humble opinion, the whole fire swamp of Washington," Elwes told CNN Saturday. "In private they share their dismay at the man [Donald Trump], but in public they support everything he does, no matter how insane."

Reiner said the country is more divided than it's ever been and in a 21st century version of a civil war.

"This is a battle for the soul of the nation," he told CNN. "We're in a civil war. There's no question about it. The only difference is instead of Abraham Lincoln in the White House, we have Jefferson Davis in the White House," referring to the president of the Confederacy.

The film's star-studded cast, including Elwes, Robin Wright, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal and Reiner have agreed to join Sunday's virtual table read. A cast Q&A will be moderated by Patton Oswalt after the performance.

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