I’m actor Wallace Shawn. You might know me as Vizzini from the Princess Bride or Dr. Sturgis in Young Sheldon, but I also play the lead in Rifkin’s Festival, out Friday, 1/28 in theaters and on digital. I don’t own a TV.

IMDb page.

Here’s proof: https://i.redd.it/hk6hwwgonod81.jpg

Now, ask me anything!

UPDATE: I'm out of time today! Thank you to each of you who took the time to ask me a question and thank you to Daniela for helping me type. Please enjoy Rifkin's Festival as much as I enjoyed making it. Take care!

Comments: 1603 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

mtrash2695 karma

Hello! I always remember you from my childhood as having a role in Clueless! What was your favorite part of having a role in that film?

wallacemshawn4144 karma

hello! it's a very respectful portrait of a teacher and I deeply admire teachers. It also expresses a loving view of life versus a ruthless view of life.

lonesomespacecowboy1527 karma

Do you ever get annoyed when people say that (Inconceivable) to you, thinking you haven't heard it a million times already in every possible joking way?

wallacemshawn3597 karma

well... I'm sure they mean well but nobody likes to be reduced to something smaller than what they really are.

vasaryo1409 karma

First off please let me say I have absolutely loved your work and roles through out the years.

Which role was your absolute favorite to portray and if you could play said role in a sequel/new episode would you?

wallacemshawn2797 karma

Thank you! I quite enjoyed playing myself in My Dinner with Andre and i'm doing the sequel right now as I'm talking to you in real life!

ted_k1276 karma

I love your essay on how acting inspires you to imagine radical social transformation -- how do you imagine humanity changing in the decades to come?

wallacemshawn3113 karma

i would be happy if humanity learned to preoccupy itself with love and beauty rather than chasing for supremacy and wealth.

Forwhom853 karma

Who are some of the role models and inspirations in your life?

wallacemshawn1463 karma

these days, I'm thinking a lot about Johan Sebastian Bach.

KJONE8830 karma

Are you more proud of your acting or voice acting career?

wallacemshawn1889 karma

well acting with your whole body and remembering your lines and being visually observed is very challenging. I'm proud that I can do any of it.

NotRonnieRay749 karma

What's your favorite kind of pizza?

wallacemshawn1107 karma

haha. sausage!

Zulias551 karma

You've found a way to source scripts and projects in a way that seems both fun and successful. Do you have any tips for actors on how to choose projects?

wallacemshawn1224 karma

i imagine how I would feel if I or my friends saw the completed work and I don't do things that I find nauseating or things that I think will make the world a worse place.

lonesomespacecowboy471 karma

Do you play chess?

wallacemshawn745 karma

i don't have that kind of talent.

Shermzilla337 karma

I’ve wanted to get into your theatrical career, as ive had theatre friends rave about the plays you’ve written. In your opinion, what should I read first?

wallacemshawn586 karma

what about The Fever? it's a one person play and a good one to read.

projectvko330 karma

How do you take your coffee?

wallacemshawn536 karma

heavy cream

BounceCreate307 karma

As a fellow "Wally" even though my first name is Walter, how awesome is our nickname?

wallacemshawn568 karma

Umm - it's an electrifying nickname! CONGRATULATIONS!

Red-Panda287 karma

What's your favorite dessert and why?

Alternatively, what's one piece of life advice you would want to pass forward?

wallacemshawn803 karma

i like a lot of desserts but I'm particularly fond of flan because it reminds me of Spain and Mexico, where I've been happy. But I also like Indian icecream Kulfi because it reminds me of India where I was also happy.

ErikThe262 karma

What question do you always wish fans would ask but never do?

wallacemshawn525 karma

that's a great question!

Zassolluto711258 karma

What's the best kind of sandwich?

wallacemshawn543 karma

i suppose a BLT if it's properly made.

CantfindanameARGH228 karma

My household adores you. Me, from Princess Bride and the husband loves you from the Sheldon show.

Question: How much did you enjoy the character development on Sheldon and did you have any input on it?

wallacemshawn360 karma

well the writers make up the story of how Dr. Sturgis changes but they're writing the character with an awareness that I'm playing the part -- so i contribute to their fantasies although I don't contribute to the writing.

rileyontheleft200 karma

If you weren't an actor, what would you do for a living?

wallacemshawn510 karma

i supposed I could be a teacher or a social worker.

szaagman146 karma

Have you been approached to be in a Marvel Universe movie? Would you consider it?

wallacemshawn337 karma

unfortunately, i haven't ever seen one so i'd have to read the script. But they've never asked me to be in that sort of movie.

robotoverlordz140 karma

When you have free time, what is your go-to, fun activity?

wallacemshawn271 karma


durrtyurr135 karma

How do you approach the differences between live action and voiceover work? Do you have a different process for one or the other?

wallacemshawn353 karma

when i act with other actors, I don't have to do anything except respond to them. With voice work, you have to pull it all out of your imagination.

Toreadorables101 karma

Hello! What was the origin of A MASTER BUILDER film with the great Jonathan Demme? Is that something you wanted to do on stage, or was it always intended as a film?

wallacemshawn155 karma

it was intended as a film but we also did it for a very small audience as a play. I have always loved Ibsen and I told Andre we should do something by him and Andre picked the Master Builder.

Vighy275 karma

Thanks for doing this! We all know of Andre the Giant’s 16 seconds of glory on the set of The Princess Bride. What was the most memorable part of working on Rifkin’s Festival?

wallacemshawn105 karma

i suppose entering into the world of Woody Allen's imagination and into the world of the rather depressed Mort waking up and connecting with a more joyful side of himself.

NeuHundred74 karma

I adore My Dinner With Andre and Vanya On 42nd Street (as well as you and Andre Gregory raiding the Criterion closet together), I was wondering if there's any thought to doing another production in that vein?

wallacemshawn119 karma

we also did a master builder, which is also in the criterion collection. that was directed by Jonatha Demme. It was based on a play by Henrik Ibsen.

zsero113873 karma

did you learn any yiddish from mandy patinkin, or from your family while growing up?

wallacemshawn146 karma

haha. i think my grandparents on my father's side spoke yiddish to each other but Mandy and I stuck to English.

AdmiralAkbar160 karma

Every character you played gets in a no-holds-barred cage match. Who do you see coming out on top?

wallacemshawn295 karma

i don't believe in losers and winners or the quest for domination. I hope we all win.

Jaycatt9 karma

I am really excited about Rifkin's Festival. Woody Allen writes some of my favorite interpersonal dialog, and I am thrilled to get to hear you read it!

What is it like working with Allen? Was it overall a good experience?

wallacemshawn23 karma

It was one of the nicest experiences I have ever had. It was both frightening and thrilling to play such an important part in that movie.

I1221Me4 karma


wallacemshawn9 karma

only if we go to Hutches, Left Bank or Bacchus