André the Giant has an Existential Crisis

Andre the GiantYou’ll know André René Roussimoff one of three ways.

Wrestling fans know him as André the Giant from the WWF, a man mountain who took on everyone from Killer Khan to Hulk Hogan. Filmgoers remember him best from 1982’s The Princess Bride where he steals every scene he’s in as Fezzik, the sweet but dim henchman. Or, if you like graffiti, you might know him from Shepard Fairey‘s Posse and Obey artwork.

Waiting for André

The Irish high priest of theatrical existential Samuel Beckett knew Andre as the son of his neighbour. Not long after finishing his 1953 Waiting for Godot (“Let’s go”/ We can’t”/”Why not?”/”We’re waiting for Godot” etc), Beckett moved to Coulomniers in the north of France. André’s father helped Beckett build a cottage.

The Irishman was a good neighbour. André was already over 6ft and couldn’t fit on the schoolbus. So Beckett used to drive him to school in his convertible. Someone asked the giant years later what they talked about.

“Cricket mostly.”

André soon dropped out of school and went into wrestling. Beckett went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Ok, it wasn’t a very significant meeting … but how often do a Nobel laureate and a real-life giant get to share a convertible together?.

For more warlike weirdness, you can buy my  books in paperback or ebook:

Katanga 1960-63: Mercenaries, Spies and the African Nation that Waged War on the World  [or amazon.com]

and

Franco’s International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War [or amazon.com]

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