Over the last several years, quite a few more of them have surfaced, and one tied to The Princess Bride might actually be the best of all the beer-guzzling, fun-loving legends.
The Princess Bride co-star Cary Elwes sat down with The Daily Beast to promote As You Wish, a book he wrote about his time spent on Rob Reiner’s fantasy-comedy classic. And in documenting the making of the 1987 film, Elwes recalled Andre’s drinking – retelling a particularly aggressive binge following the first script read-through.
Apparently, Andre The Giant, who was in severe pain for much of his life on account of his size, decided to hit up some bars after the cast finishing reading their lines. Unfortunately, he went even harder than usual and on the way back to his hotel room, passed out inside the hotel. In the middle of the lobby. So, employees surrounded him with a velvet rope and just let him sleep it off.
Here's what Elwes said...
They decided that there was no shifting him. There’s no shifting a 550-pound, 7-foot-4 giant, so they had a choice: either call the authorities, and they didn’t want that kind of publicity, or wait for him to wake up, which was the wiser decision.
We’ve all been there. Except we all aren’t as gigantic as Andre, which is why his doctors never could figure out how much pain medication to prescribe to the gentle giant on behalf of his raging back pain. Elwes said that the "recommendation" made by the medical professionals in Andre’s care was to drink. Heavily. His drink of choice was a concoction labeled "The American," which was made up of 40 ounces of various liquors poured into a pitcher. He drank several of these per sitting. Elwes marveled:
The man was extraordinary. He never even slurred his words or was tipsy! He was absolutely a man who could consume vast amounts of alcohol and not have it affect him at all. I’ve never seen anything like it. I went drinking with him after our first screening in New York, and I was sipping a beer all night—which he thought was very funny. There was no way I was going to compete with that, because I knew he could consume 100 beers in one sitting."
Knowing how sloshed Andre the Giant must have been for the entirety of the Princess Bride shoot, I’m kind of impressed that he was able to partake in such clever word play.
Rest in peace, Andre. We’re raising a pitcher of "Americans" in your honor this evening.