The Wild Way Princess Bride's Cary Elwes Was Involved With Christopher Reeve's First Superman Movie

Cary Elwes and Christopher Reeve
(Image credit: Fox/Warner Bros.)

When it comes to making it in Hollywood, it’s all about taking small jobs or roles until you get that big break. Every star in entertainment has those stories – some more unusual than others. For instance, before scoring his big break with The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes spent many years working as a production assistant on huge blockbusters. One of the films he worked on was Christopher Reeves' Superman: The Movie back in the late '70s. Of course, Elwes was tasked with making sure everyone was taken care of. But there was one wild task the A Castle for Christmas star just recently remembered.

The Princess Bride alum worked as a PA for director Richard Donner on the beloved superhero classic. Working in that position on such a huge film seems like any fanboy’s dream, but there appeared to be some underlying tension on set. Amid this, a teenaged Cary Elwes was given the bizarre task of getting screen legend Marlon Brando to set on time. Elwes opened up to Telegraph (via Uproxx) about what Brando was like while he was shooting the film:

My job was to get Marlon out of his trailer. Marlon had no incentive to be on time, because his agent had struck the most amazing deal for him. Every day that the picture went over, he got another million dollars. So, he drove poor [Richard] Donner up the wall, because he just strolled in whenever he felt like it. Sometimes before lunch, sometimes… not before lunch.

Having to wrangle a cinematic icon in seems like a major undertaking for a teenaged production assistant. But given the deal the Oscar winner's team had struck, he would’ve preferred to stay in his trailer. But it seems like Cary Elwes ace in the hole with the Oscar winner – food. In the same interview, Elwes recalled the On the Waterfront star was “in a much better mood” after being fed desserts. So food was apparently the late actor’s Kryptonite to get him on set.

Despite his legendary status in Hollywood, Marlon Brando was reportedly difficult to work with on Superman. It wasn’t just Richard Donner who lost his patience with, as OG Man of Steel Christopher Reeves had less than flattering words about the Streetcar Named Desire star. Reeves particularly called him out for not nurturing and mentoring up-and-coming actors. All in all, the Clark Kent actor seemed unimpressed with the screen legend’s attitude on the set.

Some production assistants may have internalized that experience turned away from Hollywood, but Cary Elwes seemed to gain some insight into set etiquette from dealing with Marlon Brando. And eventually, of course, Elwes went from being a PA to one of Hollywood’s lovable leading men. And the actor holds on to that status as he stars opposite Brooke Shields in Netflix’s A Castle for Christmas, which is currently streaming.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).