Robin Wright Recalls How Andre the Giant 'Palmed My Head Like a Basketball' to Warm Her Up on “Princess Bride” Set

The late wrestler, who died in 1993, was "such a gentle giant," Wright reminisced on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Wallace Shawn, Robin Wright and Andre The Giant in


Wallace Shawn, Robin Wright and Andre The Giant in 'The Princess Bride'

Robin Wright and Andre the Giant shared a special bond during their days on set of The Princess Bride.

The actress, 57, reflected on her relationship with the late wrestler, who died just six years after the film came out in 1987, during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday.

“He was such a gentle giant,” Wright said of her costar, who played rhyme-obsessed Fezzik and helped Westley (Cary Elwes) rescue her character, Buttercup.

“We were so cold shooting outside, England — raining constantly. I was freezing and I was shivering and he just came over to me and palmed my head like a basketball,” she recalled of the funny moment on set. “And it was so hot because he was always sweating, he was hot all the time because he's such a big man.”

“It was like having a sauna on my head. It was fantastic, it was great,” she said with a laugh of how the 7-foot tall, 520-pound Heavyweight Champion helped warm her up. “It was very nice of him.”

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Robin Wright, Cary Elwes in 'The Princess Bride'


Robin Wright, Cary Elwes in 'The Princess Bride'

Related: The Princess Bride Trivia: See How Well You Know the Movie!

The wrestler’s size was a result of gigantism caused by excess growth hormone, which later resulted in acromegaly, a disorder that can cause joint pain and headaches, along with a host of other complications. He died of congestive heart failure in 1993 at just 46.

The role of Andre the Giant was, quite literally, perfect for him, both due to his size and his nature as a “gentle giant,” in Wright’s words. It almost went to someone else, though, as Liam Neeson revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! several years ago.

"I didn't audition, but I was living in London, and I was asked to go meet Rob Reiner, the director, and I was quite nervous, because I knew this was a big film," Neeson recalled of the almost-role.

"I had entered the office in London, and Rob Reiner looked at me and said, 'He's not a giant! What height are you?' I said six foot-four. 'That's tall. He's not a giant!’ ”

He continued of the interaction, “So there was no 'Hello, thank you.' I thought, 'OK, the next time I see Rob Reiner, I'm gonna tell him he was very rude.’ ”

Neeson, 71, said he’s since “forgiven” the director.

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Cary Elwes, Robin Wright in 'The Princess Bride'


Cary Elwes, Robin Wright in 'The Princess Bride'

Related: Mandy Patinkin Cries as He Tells a Fan the Emotional Story Behind His Iconic 'Princess Bride' Line

For Wright, the role in The Princess Bride marked her breakout film role after she'd starred as Kelly Capwell on the soap opera Santa Barbara.

It's since come with some funny consequences, though, as her daughter, Dylan Penn, who she shares with ex-husband Sean Penn, along with son Hopper, recalled to PEOPLE a particularly embarrassing moment when the movie played in school.

"The teacher put on a movie for the class to watch and it was The Princess Bride," Dylan said. "All the boys in my class started talking about how pretty my mom was!"

<p>John Nacion/Variety via Getty</p> Robin Wright at the Netflix's "Damsel" photo call held at The Plaza Hotel on February 29, 2024 in New York City

John Nacion/Variety via Getty

Robin Wright at the Netflix's "Damsel" photo call held at The Plaza Hotel on February 29, 2024 in New York City

Wright's latest film role sees her doom a young Princess Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown) to death in Netflix's Damsel. She stars as Queen Isabelle, whose son, Prince Henry (Nick Robinson), is next in line for the throne, and the royal family routinely "sacrifices" young, eligible bachelorettes "to repay an ancient debt," per the synopsis.

Princess Elodie is but the latest in a "long line of women who have helped to build this kingdom," Wright's character tells her in the teaser trailer. Should she survive the cave she's trapped in — and its inhabitant, a fire-breathing dragon — she'll receive the ultimate prize: Prince Henry's hand in marriage.

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Damsel premieres on Netflix March 8.

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