BUTTERCUP WAS (BRIEFLY) A MAN
Robin Wright may have let the filmmakers set her on fire, but some other stunts were too risky. That means that in one shot from this famous scene, she was played by someone a lot less feminine. And Cary Elwes didn’t make it out of this sequence unscathed either, though that wasn’t the movie’s fault.
Reiner: This is aplace called Higger Tor, it’s way up close to Scotland, and it’s a rocky outcropping. Here’s something interesting. Cary Elwes, he always walks very gingerly. Wait until he sits down and you’ll see.
Onscreen, Westley settles beside a fallen log.
Reiner: See the way he’s holding that leg out. Looks like it’s very elegant. That’s because he had almost broken his ankle, and he could put no weight on it. So when he sits down like that, and then when he gets up, you’d say, ‘Oh wow, look how graceful and debonair and elegant.’ But he just couldn’t put any weight on it.
Reitman: What was the injury from?
Reiner: He was riding in a dune buggy in this area and he fell off. He didn’t want to tell anybody.
Westley stands and delicately walks forward.
Reiner: See! He’s walking so slow!
Next, Westley goes spiraling head over heels down the steep, grassy slope.
Reiner: That’s a stuntman. He had to get rid of his mask halfway down.
Buttercup soon goes tumbling after.
Reiner: That’s a man! A man in a wig.
Reitman: Are you angling the camera at all to emphasize the slope?
Reiner: No, it was really that steep. That’s why I had to get two stunt guys.