Ted Cruz Keeps Quoting 'The Princess Bride,' and Mandy Patinkin Isn't Having It


Hello. My name is Mandy Patinkin. You're killing The Princess Bride. Prepare to be schooled.

The actor who brought life to Inigo Montoya is aware that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz won't stop quoting his character's lines from 1987's The Princess Bride, and he's not thrilled with the association.

Perhaps it was Cruz's extended recreation of a scene during a Manchester, New Hampshire, news segment, or that time he did the same scene at an Iowa church. Or maybe it was the disturbing image of Cruz's face superimposed over Montoya's that served as the tipping point. But there's no questioning just how the actor feels about his widely beloved role being invoked by the Republican politician.

"I would like to be with Senator Cruz for a moment and I would like to respectfully ask him, since he quotes all the lines from The Princess Bride and certainly all of my character, Inigo Montoya's, lines, I would like to know why he doesn't quote my favorite line?" Patinkin asked during a New York Times interview.

The actor, best known today for playing Saul Berenson on Homeland, felt so passionately about the omission of one Montoya quote from Cruz's repertoire that he wrote a 1,400-word op-ed about it, published by Time on Friday. 

The line in question comes when Montoya, a Spanish swordsman who lives for the day he can confront his father's killer, is making a confession to the Man in Black. "You know it's very strange," Montoya says. "I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life."

Patinkin explains how he only internalized the gravity of this line and what it says about the movie's message when he saw it playing on television, 21 years after making it. 

"And that line," Patinkin wrote, "just sung to me that night." 

"I find it ironic that everyone who quotes the movie never quotes that line," he added. "It's the most important line that William Goldman wrote in the whole film."

He reveals his interpretation of the line: Sloughing off vengeance and embracing peace is the only resolution to many of the world's ills. Violence merely begets more violence, the actor says, and trigger-happy candidates like Cruz, who has promised to bomb ISIS so hard he'll know "if sand can glow in the dark," continue to miss this point.

"I love the idea of giving up the vengeful nature that so many of us have," Patinkin writes. "Too often we think that when we have a problem with our lives or our country that the way to fix it is to take an eye for an eye. That doesn't help anything or anyone."

Patinkin writes of refugees, who want to come to the United States, desperately seeking "dignity," "peace" and "freedom" — turning them away will reinforce the vicious cycle humanity finds itself in, he contends.

"Every character in that movie is looking to be loved," Patinkin concludes. "I'm sure Ted Cruz wants to be loved. I know Donald Trump does. Everyone wants it. But we mustn't look for love by spreading hate."