Hailing from London, Cary Elwes has starred in a number of films including The Princess Bride (1987), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), and Saw (2004). As a youth, he attended Harrow School and later went on to study the performing arts at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. At the age of nineteen, he relocated to the United States where he honed his performing skills at New York’s Sarah Lawrence College. While he was there, he studied under Charlie Laughton at the Less Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Shortly afterward, Elwes made his motion picture debut in the romantic historical film, Another Country (1984). Continuing to attend auditions, he eventually landed roles in Oxford Blues (1984), The Bride (1985), Lady Jane (1986), and Maschenka (1986). In 1987, the aspiring actor received a big break when he was selected for the starring role in the adventure comedy, The Princess Bride. A moderate hit at the box office, it offered Elwesーwho was still trying to find his way in the show business at the timeーan opportunity to showcase his talents to the world.
After starring in the critical acclaimed film, he steadily received more roles in Glory (1989), Days of Thunder (1990), Hot Shots! (1991), and Leather Jackets (1992). In 1993, Elwes received another breakthrough with the musical comedy, Robin Hood: Men in Tightsーa motion picture in which he was once again, selected to star as the main lead. Throughout the rest of the 90’s, he appeared in a wide range of filmsーfrom Disney’s The Jungle Book (1994) to the crime drama, Kiss the Girls (1997). A few of his other works from this period include Whisper of the Heart (1995), Twister (1996), Liar Liar (1997), The Informant (1997), and The Pentagon Wars (1998)ーthe last of which earned him a Golden Satellite Award nomination for “Best Actor in a Mini-Series”. A talented and experienced actor with a long filmography, Elwes has also been nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award, and an MTV Movie Award, amongst a few others throughout his career.
Although he’s mostly known for his work in Hollywood, the British actor has appeared in sundry television seriesーfor instance, he made his small screen debut in the popular NBC sitcom, Seinfeld (1996). Prior to the arrival of the new millennium, Elwes guest starred in a handful of shows including From the Earth to the Moon (1998), Pinky and the Brain (1998), The Outer Limits (1999), and Batman Beyond (1999). While he spends most of his time working in film nowadays, some of his most recent projects on TV includes: Leverage (2012), The Anna Nicole Story (2013), Granite Flats (2014), The Art of More (2015), and Life in Pieces (2016).
What has the versatile actorーwith over 100 credits to his name, been up to lately? Assuming he’s still active within the entertainment scene, what are some of his latest roles? What happened to Cary Elwes? Where is he now in 2018?
Cary Elwes’ Early Life and Eventual Entry Into the Show Business
Born on October 26, 1962 in London, England, Cary Elwes (Birth Name: Ivan Simon Cary Elwes) is the son of Dominic Elwes, a professional painter, and Tessa Kennedy, an interior designer; the youngest of three siblings, he has two older brothers named Cassian and Damian. When he was only four years old, his parents divorced; his mother later re-married Elliott Kastner, an American film producer who would then be his stepfather.
Raised in a Catholic household in the city of Westminster, Elwes spent much of his youth serving as an altar boy at the Westminster Cathedral. During his youth, he went to Harrow Boarding School and later studied at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. When he wasn’t studying, he worked as a production assistant for various films such as Superman (1978), and Octopussy (1983). Following his graduation, he relocated to the United States where he took up acting classes at New York’s Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville.
Whilst there, Elwes also studied under the wing of Charlie Laughton at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Manhattan, New York City. At the age of twenty two, the aspiring artist made his feature film debut in Marek Kanievska’s Another Country (1984), where he portrayed the role of a homosexual student. After several auditions, he later found himself playing small roles in the movies Oxford Blues (1984), Lady Jane (1986), and Maschenka (1986). From there, he began landing bigger parts; in 1987, he received a breakthrough when he was cast as the principal character in the romantic comedy film, The Princess Bride.
Cary Elwes’ Early Acting Career
Based on a book of the same title by William Goldmanーwho also helped to write the screenplayーThe Princess Bride told the story of a farmhand by the name of Westley, who must rescue Princess Buttercup, his true love, with the help of a few companions from the nefarious Prince Humperdinck. Although Elwes had appeared in many movies in the past, The Princess Bride marked the first time that he was given a starring role. Working alongside director Rob Reiner, the actor played none other than Westley in the film. Joining him as members of the main cast were Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest and Wallace Shawn.
Upon its debut on September 25, 1987, The Princess Bride was met with critical acclaim; it grossed over $206,000 across nine screens in its opening weekend during its limited release. Voted as one of the greatest comedies of all time, the film adaptation went on to take in over $30 million worldwide by the end of its theatrical run. Holding a near perfect 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it received numerous praises for its ideal balance of romance, comedy and swashbuckling. Aside from having garnered favourable reviews from viewers, it also earned positive ratings from critics; for instance, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel both gave The Princess Bride, “two thumbs up”. For many, the cult classic is credited towards the launching of Elwes’ career.
A few roles later, Elwes was cast yet again as a starring role in the musical comedy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Directed, produced and co-written by Mel Brooks, the parody put a satirical spin on the classic tale of Robin Hoodーa man who robs from the rich to give to the poor. Aside from Elwes who played Robin Hood, it ensemble cast included Richard Lewis, Roger Rees, Amy Yasbeck, Dave Chappelle, Mark Blankfield and Eric Allan Kramer.
A 20th Century Fox production, Robin Hood: Men in Tights entered the North American box office at number six, earning approximately $6.8 million in its opening weekend. A mild financial hit, it eventually grossed over $35.7 million altogether worldwide against a production budget of $20 million. Despite this, opinion on the film was split; while many viewers agreed that it was a “good spoof”, some noted that the movie was not as funny as Brooks’ other works. Still, Robin Hood: Men in Tights was nominated for a Young Artist Award for “Outstanding Family Motion Picture” in 1994, a year after it was released.
Highlights from Cary Elwes’ Continued Acting Career
In 2004, Elwes starred in the psychological horror film, Sawーit would be one of the greatest box office hit that he’s taken part in. Based on a story by James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the former of whom directed the movie, it revolved around two men, Adam Stanheight and Lawrence Gordon who awake to find themselves brutally chained up in a battered bathroom; to their horror, they are later instructed to kill the other after being told that their respective families are taken up as hostages. While Elwes played the role of the Dr. Lawrence Gordon, actor Leigh Whannell played opposite of him as Stanheight. Also included in the cast were Tobin Bell, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson and Ken Leung.
After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Saw made its way onto theatre screens on October 29, 2004. During the Halloween weekend, it took the number one spot and grossed over $18.2 millionーmaking it a massive success. In North America alone, it ended up taking in over $55 million; add to that the overseas ticket sales and it had grossed over $103 millionーall from a $1 million budget! Like some of the other horror movies out there however, its goriness received much criticism from viewers. Although some appreciated its plot twists, others such as critic Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times, found it to be too much for the film. Having said that, Saw has since become a classic for horror fans. For his portrayal of the shackled oncologist, Elwes received an MTV Movie Award nomination for “Best Frightened Performance” in 2005.
Several years later, Elwes found himself co-starring in Ivan Reitman’s romantic comedy, No Strings Attached (2011). Featuring a screenplay written by Elizabeth Meriwether, it followed two friendsーEmma and Adam, who make a pact to have casual sex with “no strings attached” without falling for each other. While Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher portrayed the roles of the two main leads respectively, Elwes played as Dr. MetznerーEmma’s superior at the hospital. The cast list also included Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Olivia Thirlby, Lake Bell and Mindy Kaling.
Released nation-wide on January 21, 2011, No Strings Attached earned more than $20 million at the box office during its opening weekend; according to statistics, close to 70% of the audience members were women. A financial success, the comedy went on to earn over $149 million by the end of its theatrical runーclose to six times that of its production budget! While many viewers gave the movie an “A-” grade, contemporary critics were generally more critical of the film; in one particular example, The Telegraph even named it as one of the worse films of the year.
Since that time, Elwes has worked on numerous movies such as Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (2013), Reach Me (2014), A Haunting in Cawdor (2015), Elvis & Nixon (2016), and Indiscretion (2016). On television, he has also made a variety of guest appearances in popular shows such as Leverage (2012), Perception (2012), and Granite Flats (2014). In 2015, he was also a series regular in the Crackle drama, The Art of More.
What’s Cary Elwes Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Like the years before, the actor will be starring in a string of movies this upcoming year. One of them, The First (2017) will be a biopic about the silent film star, Mary Pickfordーbased on a biography written by Eileen Whitfeld. In the biographical film, Elwes will be playing as D.W. Griffith; some of the other actors joining him include Summer Phoenix, Luke Arnole, Balthazar Getty, and Sophie Kennedy Clark.
A second project that he will be appearing in sometime this year is the drama film, We Don’t Belong Here (2017). Written and directed by Peer Pedersen, it will follow the struggles of a family matriarch after the mysterious disappearance of her son. The movie will star Catherine Keener, Anton Yelchin, Kaitlyn Dever, Maya Rudolph and Riley Keough, although no official release date has been released so far.
If you’d like to stay connected with the 54-year-old actor, you can do so by following Cary Elwes on social mediaーyou can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @Cary_Elwes.