I’m not well-versed in most sports, and wrestling is no exception. My knowledge of Andre the Giant stems entirely from my nostalgia for his turn as Fezzik in The Princess Bride — and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Andre was imprinted on an entire generation as a lovable, mythical man. And more than that, he was a real-life giant! It was even in his name (it apparently never occurred to child-me that “Andre the Giant” was a stage name).
Which is why I am certain that this new HBO Sports documentary about this life and career is going to make me ugly-cry like hell.
We’ve all heard that Andre could drink over a hundred beers in less than an hour and other feats of incredible boozing, and of course he could! He was over 7 feet tall and weighed around 500lbs! But the reason he drank was to manage the physical pain he lived with, due to his size. His body was the source of his fame, and his own worst enemy — and ultimately led to his death at the age of 46.
Tracing his roots from his childhood in the French Alps, through his career in wrestling, and the health problems that plagued him due to his gigantism, Andre the Giant looks to shed light on the man who was literally the biggest celebrity in the world at one time. Cary Elwes, Billy Crystal, Hulk Hogan, and more discuss the man as they knew him, and contextualize the legendary excess that he’s remembered for. And for those of us who didn’t know him before The Princess Bride, it looks like there will be plenty of archive footage of him to appreciate.
And by “appreciate” I obviously mean cry over, because goddamn — even that trailer has me all choked up.
Andre the Giant premieres April 10th on HBO. It’s produced by HBO Sports, WWE, and the Bill Simmons Media Group.