Tag Archives: “The Princess Bride”

Chris Sarandon Talks Back

Westport still lacks a theater. But the Westport Cinema Initiative is winging it well.

As the group works to bring a movie house to town, they’ve sponsored a series of showings at Town Hall. The next — set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 — is “The Princess Bride.”

Chris Sarandon

Chris Sarandon

The romantic fantasy comedy — released to modest success in 1987, but now a cult classic — is one of his favorites, says star Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdinck).

But don’t take my word for it. You can hear him talk about the film — and much more — at a talkback following the showing. Noted movie critic — and Westporter — Susan Granger will lead the discussion.

Sarandon — an Academy Award, Golden Globe and New York Film Critics Circle nominee, with dozens of movie, Broadway and off-Broadway credits — has fond feelings for “Princess Bride.”

Because of the cast, the characters they played, and Rob Reiner’s deft touch, the film has touched many lives, Sarandon says.

The Princess BrideNearly 30 years later, strangers quote lines back to  him. They tell him they watch the movie with their own children. It appeals to audiences of all ages.

Of course, 3 decades ago Sarandon and his crew had no idea that viewers in the as-yet-unknown age of Netflix would react so well.

“It was not marketed well,” the actor admits. “The studio had no idea what to do with it. It operated on so many different levels. But all of us loved it. It was personal to us.”

Sarandon looks forward to talking about all this — his fellow actors, anecdotes from the filming, untold stories — at the “Princess Bride” talkback.

Hearing him speak in Westport is the next best thing to seeing it in an actual theater here.

(Tickets to the April 9 event are $10 each. They are available at the door, or by clicking on www.westportcinema.org. Admission includes snacks!)

Westport Cinema Initiative

Kerstin And Vijay’s “Princess Bride” Wedding

She’s a Westport teacher from Minnesota who majored in art. He’s a Brooklyn computer programmer, born in India.

They met through OkCupid — how else would their paths have crossed? Despite their disparate backgrounds, they fell in love.

Unsurprisingly, their wedding Monday afternoon at Longshore was — well, different.

Some of the actors at Kerstin's wedding. They're part of her improv group. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Some of the actors at Kerstin’s wedding. They’re part of her improv group. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

The theme was “The Princess Bride.” Sure, any couple can have a wedding based on the Rob Reiner-directed love/adventure/story-within-a-story movie.

But Kerstin and Vijay are not “any couple.”

“We’re so far down the nerd rabbit hole, it’s amazing,” the Bedford Middle School instructor laughs.

She nailed it.

David Pogue played the narrator. He read the "Princess Bride" story to his son Jeffrey. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

David Pogue played the narrator. He read the “Princess Bride” story to his son Jeffrey. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

They got the original movie script, and edited it down to 30 minutes. They enlisted the help of friends like David Pogue, who played the father reading the love story to his son Jeffrey.

Then everyone changed — did I mention the couple rented costumes for the “cast”?– and the actual wedding took place outside.

Kerstin and Vijay spent weeks making an enormous mockup of places from the movie: The Cliffs of Insanity, the Fire Swamp, Miracle Max’s Hut, the Castle of Florence. It served as a cake stand. Where else would you put it?

Kerstin and Vijay cut the cake. They created the "Princess Bride" tableau themselves. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Kerstin and Vijay cut the cake. They created the “Princess Bride” tableau themselves. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

There was a sword fight too. It was not really planned out. Well, Kerstin and Vijay knew about it. But many guests were members of her improv group, so…

Bill Derry as the Impressive Clergyman. He also performed the actual ceremony. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Bill Derry as the Impressive Clergyman. He also performed the actual ceremony. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Bill Derry — the Westport Library‘s assistant director of innovation and user experience — served as officiant. He was not some random choice. He’s the visionary behind the “MakerSpace” at the library.

This was very much a “Maker Wedding.” The Maker movement brought Vijay and Kerstin closer. It introduced them to David, Bill and Mark Mathias (another member of the wedding). And the wedding combined elements of the Maker movement: model-making, Arduino programming, improv comedy, costumes, old-fashioned calligraphy, modern Photoshop editing and Etsy craft vendors.

Even the choice of day and time — Monday afternoon — was unique.

“We’re not rolling in dough,” Kerstin says. “We wanted a beautiful venue in the fall, and Longshore is less expensive on non-weekends. We looked at the calendar, and chose Columbus Day.”

But — oops! — in March, the Board of Education decided school would be in session that holiday.

Kerstin took a personal day to get married. A few fellow-teacher guests worried they’d be late, because of a faculty meeting.

It all turned out fine. The affair went as perfectly as any improv-filled, “Princess Bride”-themed wedding between an Indian programmer and a Westport teacher should go.

No word on what they’ve planned for their honeymoon.

Kerstin and Vijay walking back down the aisle. The ceremony included both American and Hindu traditions. (Photo/Katherine Hooper)

Kerstin and Vijay walking back down the aisle. The ceremony included both American and Hindu traditions. (Photo/Katherine Hooper)