Why do you wear a mask?

I think they are just terribly comfortable.  I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

Since–like everyone else–actors are unable to do their jobs until the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, many have offered up some of their time over the past 120 to 150 days to provide fans with extra interviews, table reads (like the Community table read we discussed here at borg), and comic-cons at home, creating some content for the fan base we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to without this strange new normal of sheltering at home, social distancing, and masks.  If you don’t subscribe to or know what Quibi is, you may have missed the latest–an ensemble of actors from popular to more obscure re-enacting scenes from Rob Reiner’s fan-favorite fantasy, comedy, and romance, The Princess Bride.

The style is all intentionally low budget–think of the kind of backyard films you might have made as a kid, and in fact, the film is called Home Movie: The Princess Bride But it’s great fun, all filmed with quarantine safety rules in place (those filming together were already living together), and the kind of thing any classic film fan base would be overjoyed to see created.  The best part is learning who had actual historical costumes in their closet to work with (Mad Men man Jon Hamm had a Renaissance shirt in his closet, as did comedic actors Neil Patrick Harris and David Spade, and Rogue One’s Diego Luna), those who didn’t, and who might be better actors than you’ve given them credit for.

It probably won’t surprise any of his fans that Luna was born to mimic Mandy Patinkin’s Inigo Montoya, but full corona-beard-mode Jack Black is a close second for his almost Shakespearean take (for an American, at least) on Westley (complete with lightsaber stand-in prop for his medieval sword).  Only the imposing Dave Bautista could stand in for Andre the Giant (then again…), and nerd-king Patton Oswalt’s take on Wallace Shawn’s Vizzini is a near-perfect impression of Wallace’s best scene in the film.  Last Man Standing’s Kaitlyn Dever creates a perfect Westley talking-while-sparring scene with Stranger Thing’s Finn Wolfhard–definitely a scene you’ll want to re-watch.

You’ll have a lot of fun spotting everyone, including a few Academy Award-winning actors, like Charlize Theron, JK Simmons, Penélope Cruz, Sam Rockwell, and Javier Bardem, plus genre movie familiars Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Brandon Routh, Pedro Pascal, David Spade, David Oyelowo, McKenna Grace, Andy Serkis, Sarah Cooper, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jason Segel, Andrew Bachelor, Rainn Wilson, Sam Rockwell, Sophie Turner, Tiffany Haddish, Don Johnson, Common, John Malkovich, Sarah Silverman, Ernie Hudson, Keegan-Michael Key, James Van Der Beek, Natalie Morales, John Cho, Giancarlo Esposito, Taika Waititi, Paul Rudd, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Zazie Beetz, Bryan Cranston, Finn Wolfhard, and many more, a surprise appearance (or two) from a few original cast members, and even a corgi standing in for a ROUS, and actors’ kids standing in for over-shoulder camera shots.

The effort got buy-in from director Rob Reiner (who appears with his father, comedy legend Carl Reiner, in one sequence–Carl passed away three days after filming), plus producer Norman Lear, the estate of author/screenwriter William Goldman, and musician and composer Mark Knopfler, whose music brings the right dramatic beats to this re-creation.  The idea came from Jason Reitman, taking a break (due to the pandemic) from Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was delayed until next year (which also explains some cast members featured in this production).  And it’s all to make money for charity.

Here is a “supercut” of many of the 100 actors doing their thing in Home Movie: The Princess Bride:

Ten episodes are available (pay download for charity World Central Kitchen) here at Quibi.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg