Liam Neeson Wanted Andre The Giant's Princess Bride Role - Then He Met Rob Reiner

"The Princess Bride" has become the very definition of a cinematic classic since its 1987 release. Given the way it continues to be passed down between generations, that classic status isn't likely to fade anytime soon. As far as big screen reputations go, that of "The Princess Bride" is well-earned, to say the least, with the fantastical tale of swashbuckling rogues, damsels in distress, dastardly monarchs, and gentle giants remaining as singular in its vision as it is in its profound effect on audiences.

However, the gentle giant in that equation could've looked dramatically different had director Rob Reiner gone another route in the casting phase, because Liam Neeson was apparently circling the role of Fezzik. Neeson recounted his brief encounter with Reiner on the film during an interview with Rolling Stone. Unfortunately, the casting session was not a good one for the then-up-and-coming Neeson.

"I was out in LA with my then-English agent," Neeson began, adding he actually had to fly back to London to meet with Reiner as the filmmaker was casting the role in England. He continued, "I went up, knocked on the door, and Rob was behind a desk with the casting director. He looked at me, looked at her, looked at me, looked at her, and shouted, 'I need a giant!'" Reiner apparently then asked for Neeson's height. When Neeson answered, the director continued ranting, "'I need a giant! You're not a giant!" noting Reiner never even said hello to him.

Lack of tact aside, Rob Reiner was probably right about casting his The Princess Bride giant

As Liam Neeson told Rob Reiner, he's hardly a short man himself at 6 foot 4. Unfortunately, being 6' 4" ranked him a full 12 inches shorter than the actor he lost the part of Fezzik to. That actor was no traditional thespian at all, however, with André René Roussimoff claiming the role. Roussimoff is, of course, better known to purveyors of 1980s pop culture as professional wrestler André the Giant. Even Liam Neeson admitted he was great for the role, telling Rolling Stone, "Anyway, he [Reiner] got the right guy."

If you've seen "The Princess Bride," you know Neeson's assessment is spot on, with André the Giant more than holding his own as the kind, but oh-so imposing Fezzik opposite a cast of seasoned professionals. For their part, André's "The Princess Bride" scene partners couldn't have spoken more highly of his work, or his gentle nature during the 2015 documentary "André the Giant." So too did Reiner, who noted that, despite a shaky audition, "He was perfect for the part. He's a giant!"

While one and all seem to agree no actor was better suited to play Fezzik than André the Giant, Neeson clearly still takes umbrage to the way he was dismissed during his "The Princess Bride" audition. As he joked to Rolling Stone, he's still hoping for a chance to let Reiner know how he feels, quipping, "I'm going to run into Rob Reiner one of these days and I'm going to tell him, 'You were very rude, Mr. Reiner. Very rude.'"