Where in the Horror are they Now? Cary Elwes!


THEN: Are you a fan of THE PRINCESS BRIDE? Well of course you are! And one of the MANY factors that made this charming movie so damn memorable is Cary Elwes as Westley. This undeniably awesome actor was perfect in the 1987 film alongside some serious talent including Robin Wright, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane and so many more. To hold his own as a leading man with such a wealth of great comedic actors is seriously impressive. Yet, Elwes has had much more than that classic throughout his rather varied career, and we are going to look back at some of the genre highlights that he has been part of. Of course THE PRINCESS BRIDE is about as far from horror as you can get, however it seemed to be a good place to start for this talented fellow.

When the UK born actor burst onto the big screen, he worked constantly in films like LADY JANE (1986), OXFORD BLUES and ANOTHER COUNTRY (both in 1984). In the middle of all that he appeared in the hip re-telling of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, simply called THE BRIDE (1985). This curious feature also starred The Police frontman Sting, as well as Jennifer Beals and Clancy Brown. Critics weren’t kind to this weird imagining of the James Whale classic, but it didn’t seem to hinder Elwes at all. And thankfully, this handsome and debonaire leading man didn’t tire of the genre.

It is fascinating to look back at the actor’s career, being that he was featured in a number of very high profile flicks. Some were successful and some weren’t. He starred in the Academy Award winning GLORY in 1989, and the following year he raced around the tracks opposite Tom Cruise in DAYS OF THUNDER (1990). He returned to comedy in 1991 with HOT SHOTS! but in 1992 he once again took on a classic monster in Francis Ford Coppola’s inventive DRACULA. In this strangely effective telling of the classic monster, Elwes portrayed Lord Arthur Holmwood. After the success of a revitalized and legendary vampire, perfectly played in the film by Gary Oldman, Elwes took on an entirely different bad guy in his next flick.

The 1993 LOLITA inspired thriller THE CRUSH was ludicrously bad but it was actually pretty damn entertaining. It was campy and stupid, yet somehow Elwes managed to remain fairly cool in a thriller about a journalist gaining the unwanted attention of a 14-year-old psycho named Darian (Alicia Silverstone). Frankly I kind of dug this movie at the time. The cast also featured the fantastic Jennifer Rubin as Elwes girlfriend, and Silverstone and Elwes seemed to entertain in the seedy plot. If only the final sequence wasn’t so moronic, this probably could have been a much better bit of pulpy, creepy goodness. But seriously, that ending really sucked! At least it was fun getting there.

Since we talked THE PRINCESS BRIDE, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up his leading comedic actor skills in the Mel Brooks Robin Hood spoof, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (1993). Once again, the actor showcased his ability and willingness to poke fun at his leading man looks with the help of his comedic timing. And since we have recently witnessed Dwayne Johnson trying to save his family in SAN ANDREAS, we have to give credit for Cary for his involvement in the 1996 hit TWISTER. You’ve got Bill Paxton. You’ve got Helen Hunt. You have a flying cow! What more do you need? And since comedy was a major part of the actor’s skills, he joined another horror legend Jennifer Tilly - as well as Jim Carrey when he was huge - in LIAR LIAR in 1997. This guy was on a role.

Throughout his career, he has appeared in KISS THE GIRLS in 1997, the TV mini-series From the Earth to the Moon in 1998, and SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE in 2000. He was even featured in 6 episodes of the classic series The X-Files as FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer from 2001 to 2002. Then in 2004, the actor shot to horror fame in a little flick from an indie director by the name of James Wan. The film of course was SAW and it was a massive success - launching a ton of sequels including SAW 3D: THE FINAL CHAPTER which also featured Elwes reprising the role of Dr. Gordon. The original - and best - is as much mystery as it is horror and it is still a fun flick to watch. Yet I did take some issue with Dr. Gordon. If your kid says somebody is in their closet, just check the f*cking closet a-hole! Other than that, I loved this movie and it is no surprise that Mr. Wan has become one of the most successful directors working today.

NOW: Since the “final” chapter in the SAW franchise, Cary has continued to work in and out of the genre. He appeared in THE ALPHABET KILLER in 2008, PSYCH:9 in 2010, LITTLE MURDER and HELLGATE in 2011, THE STORY OF LUKE in 2012, HANSEL & GRETEL GET BAKED in 2013 and most frightening of all, THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE! With guest spots on television in Leverage, Perception and Psych, the actor has been working constantly. In the past couple of years Mr. Elwes has been featured in a ton of indies as well as the BYUtv series Granite Flats, along with another subject of this very column, that groovy American Werewolf David Naughton.

According to the ever-so-reliable (?) IMDB, Cary Elwes has a ton of projects in the works including the horror thriller COWDOR, THE GREENS ARE GONE, THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, SUGAR MOUNTAIN, THE OTHER and more. With his incredible resume - over 100 credits - this talented fellow thankfully hasn’t left horror behind. If you check out this fine actor’s Twitter page, you’ll see that he is involved in theatre for a production of “Wits” in St. Paul, Minneapolis. You can also “Like” his Facebook page and keep up with what this charismatic dude is up to. And if you’d like even more insight into what went on behind THE PRINCESS BRIDE, do yourself a favor and check out Elwes as author and his book “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride,” a New York Times Bestseller - you can order it here.

I’ve always been a fan of Cary Elwes. From his UK dramas to his contribution to the world of horror and comedy, the actor has a ton of talent to offer. His versatile filmography and his many classics certainly make him one of the biggest and most unique names in this beloved genre. Hell, maybe I’ll have to once again watch THE CRUSH tonight… Then again, maybe it is a PRINCESS BRIDE kind of night.

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Cary Elwes movie?
Source: AITH



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