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‘The Princess Bride’ is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Mandy Patinkin talks about his role in the 1987 cult classic and even revives his Inigo Montoya line.
USA TODAY

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Fans of The Princess Bride recognize that line uttered by Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya. It’s the line Montoya tells everyone who will listen, a statement of his purpose to kill his father’s murderer, “the six-fingered man.” Then, it’s the quote he repeats, half-dead, when Montoya finally does face the baddie with an extra digit, Count Rugen (played by Christopher Guest).

Thirty years after the Rob Reiner film arrived in theaters, Patinkin, 64, delivers that line with the same panache and Spanish accent, much to the surprise of fans.

In particular, he makes a point of whispering it into the ears of children who don’t believe that the guy who plays Saul on Homeland, now a gray-bearded man with an American accent, and the spritely, mustachioed swordsman Montoya are the same man.

“The little kids are like, ‘Maybe my grandma or grandpa’s not crazy. That sounded familiar,’ ” Patinkin told USA TODAY at the Emmy Awards earlier this month.

More specifically, it sounds exactly like it does in the movie.

I can say that because, yes, I asked Patinkin to whisper the line into my ear. It was a joyful, emotional experience. (Don’t worry: I waited until Patinkin was out of sight to cry.)

“Almost every day of my life,” a fan mentions Princess Bride “and it just tickles me pink,” Patinkin says. “And every time, even when you bring it up, there’s a little part of me that goes, ‘I can’t believe I was in this movie they keep talking about. That I got to be in it.’ “

Another overarching memory of shooting the movie? That Patinkin got hurt on set, and it had nothing to do with swordfighting: “I bruised the muscles around my ribs holding in my laughter off camera.”

As Patinkin recalled, “Billy Crystal cracking 13th-century jokes” in old-man makeup and contact lenses that look like cataracts, is hilarious. It’s so funny, in fact, that even Reiner had to leave the set. 

Patinkin doesn’t seem upset about his one Princess Bride casualty.