Marlon Brando Quotes

The more sensitive you are, the more likely you are to be brutalised, develop scabs and never evolve. Never allow yourself to feel anything because you always feel too much.

The only thing an actor owes his public is not to bore them.

An actor is at most a poet and at least an entertainer.

Would people applaud me if I were a good plumber?

I don`t know what people expect when they meet me. They seem to be afraid that I`m going to p*ss in the potted palm and slap them on the ass.

I put on an act sometimes, and people think I`m insensitive. Really, it`s like a kind of armour because I`m too sensitive. If there are two hundred people in a room and one of them doesn`t like me, I`ve got to get out.

If you`re successful, acting is about as soft a job as anybody could ever wish for. But if you`re unsuccessful, it`s worse than having a skin disease.

(On one of his most famous characters, Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)) "Kowalski was always right, and never afraid. He never wondered, he never doubted. His ego was very secure. And he had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate. I`m afraid of it. I detest the character."

I don`t want to spread the peanut butter of my personality on the mouldy bread of the commercial press.

The most repulsive thing you could ever imagine is the inside of a camel`s mouth. That and watching a girl eat octopus or squid.

With women, I`ve got a long bamboo pole with a leather loop on the end. I slip the loop around their necks so they can`t get away or come too close. Like catching snakes.

I don`t think it`s the nature of any man to be monogamous. Men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed.

An actor`s a guy who, if you ain`t talking about him, ain`t listening.

If there`s anything unsettling to the stomach, it`s watching actors on television talk about their personal lives.

(On Frank Sinatra) "He`s the kind of guy that when he dies, he`s going up to heaven and give God a bad time for making him bald."

(On his unforgettable role in The Godfather (1972)) "I went home and did some rehearsing to satisfy my curiosity about whether I could play an Italian. I put on some makeup, stuffed Kleenex in my cheeks and worked out the characterization first in front of a mirror, then on a television monitor. After working on it, I decided I could create a characterization that would support the story. The people at Paramount saw the footage and liked it, and that`s how I became the Godfather."

(When asked how he spent his time away from the camera) "People ask that a lot. They say, `What did you do while you took time out?` - as if the rest of my life is taking time out. But the fact is, making movies is time out for me because the rest, the nearly complete whole, is what`s real for me. I`m not an actor and haven`t been for years. I`m a human being - hopefully a concerned and somewhat intelligent one - who occasionally acts."

Regret is useless in life. It`s in the past. All we have is now.

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It`s a bum`s life. Quitting acting is a sign of maturity.

(On the impact of The Godfather (1972)) "I`d gotten to know quite a few mafiosi, and all of them told me they loved the picture because I had played the Godfather with dignity. Even today I can`t pay a check in Little Italy."

Acting is an empty and useless profession.

(On his characterization of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954)) "(The role) was actor-proof, a scene that demonstrated how audiences often do much of the acting themselves in an effectively told story."

{On directing] "I did it once. It was an ass-breaker. You work yourself to death. You`re the first one up in the morning . . . I mean, we shot that thing (One-Eyed Jacks (1961)) on the run, you know. You make up the dialog the scene before, improvising, and your brain is going crazy."

(On the Academy Awards, to Connie Chung after his Best Supporting Actor nomination for A Dry White Season (1989)) "That`s a part of the sickness in America, that you have to think in terms of who wins, who loses, who`s good, who`s bad, who`s best, who`s worst . . . I don`t like to think that way. Everybody has their own value in different ways, and I don`t like to think who`s the best at this. I mean, what`s the point of it?"

(On the Academy Awards, Connie Chung TV interview, 1990) "What do I care? I`ve made all the money I need to make. I won a couple of Academy Awards if I ever cared about that. I`ve been nominated I don`t know how many times and I`m in a position of respect and standing in my craft as an actor in this country. So what the hell, I don`t need to gild the lily."

(After accepting the Best Actor Oscar for On the Waterfront (1954) at the 27th Academy Awards ceremony) "I can`t remember what I was going to say for the life of me. I don`t think ever in my life that so many people were so directly responsible for my being so very, very happy."

If the vacuum formed by Dr. King`s death isn`t filled with concern and understanding and a measure of love, then I think we all are really going to be lost here in this country.

(On Malcolm X): "He was a dynamic person, a very special human being who might have caused a revolution. He had to be done away with. The American government couldn`t let him live. If 23 million blacks found a charismatic leader like he was, they would have followed him. The powers that be couldn`t accept that."

To grasp the full significance of life is the actor`s duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.

It is a simple fact that all of us use the techniques of acting to achieve whatever ends we seek.... Acting serves as the quintessential social lubricant and a device for protecting our interests and gaining advantage in every aspect of life.

It seems to me hilarious that our government put the face of Elvis Presley on a postage stamp after he died from an overdose of drugs. His fans don`t mention that because they don`t want to give up their myths. They ignore the fact that he was a drug addict and claim he invented rock `n` roll when in fact he took it from black culture; they had been singing that way for years before he came along, copied them and became a star.

I`m one of those people who believes that if I`m very good in this life I`ll go to France when I die.

Even today I meet people who think of me automatically as a tough, insensitive, coarse guy named Stanley Kowalski. They can`t help it, but, it is troubling.

A movie that I was in, called On the Waterfront (1954): there was a scene in a taxicab, where I turn to my brother, who`s come to turn me over to the gangsters, and I lament to him that he never looked after me, he never gave me a chance, that I could have been a contender, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum ... "You should of looked out after me, Charley." It was very moving. And people often spoke about that, "Oh, my God, what a wonderful scene, Marlon, blah blah blah blah blah." It wasn`t wonderful at all. The situation was wonderful. Everybody feels like he could have been a contender, he could have been somebody, everybody feels as though he`s partly bum, some part of him. He is not fulfilled and he could have done better, he could have been better. Everybody feels a sense of loss about something. So that was what touched people. It wasn`t the scene itself. There are other scenes where you`ll find actors being expert, but since the audience can`t clearly identify with them, they just pass unnoticed. Wonderful scenes never get mentioned, only those scenes that affect people.

Most people want those fantasies of those who are worthy of our hate - we get rid of a lot of anger that way; and of those who are worthy of our idolatry. Whether it`s Farrah Fawcett or somebody else, it doesn`t make a difference. They`re easily replaceable units, pick `em out like a card file. Johnnie Ray enjoyed that kind of hysterical popularity, celebration, and then suddenly he wasn`t there anymore. The Beatles are now nobody in particular. Once they set screaming crowds running after them, they ran in fear of their lives, they had special tunnels for them. They can walk almost anyplace now. Because the fantasy is gone. Elvis Presley - bloated, over the hill, adolescent entertainer, suddenly drawing people into Las Vegas - had nothing to do with excellence, just myth. It`s convenient for people to believe that something is wonderful, therefore they`re wonderful.

If Wally (Wally Cox) had been a woman, I would have married him and we would have lived happily ever after.

America has been good to me, but that wasn`t a gift.

I have eyes like those of a dead pig.

Privacy is not something that I`m merely entitled to, it`s an absolute prerequisite.

don`t mind that I`m fat. You still get the same money

This is a false world. It`s been a struggle to try to preserve my sanity and sense of reality taken away by success. I have to fight hard to preserve that sense of reality so as to bring up my children.

I always enjoyed watching John Wayne, but it never occurred to me until I spoke with Indians how corrosive and damaging and destructive his movies were - most Hollywood movies were.

(On John Wayne`s 1971 interview with Playboy magazine) That doesn`t need a reply, it`s self-evident. You can`t even get mad at it; it`s so insane that there`s just nothing to say about it. He would be, according to his point of view, someone not disposed to returning any of the colonial possessions in Africa or Asia to their rightful owners. He would be sharing a perspective with B.J. Vorster if he were in South Africa. He would be on the side of Ian Smith. He would have shot down Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi), called him a rabble rouser. The only freedom fighters he would recognize would be those who were fighting Communists; if they were fighting to get out from under colonial rule, he`d call them terrorists. The Indians today he`d call agitators, terrorists, who knows? If John Wayne ran for President, he would get a great following ... I think he`s been enormously instrumental in perpetuating this view of the Indian as a savage, ferocious, destructive force. He`s made us believe things about the Indian that were never true and perpetuated the myth about how wonderful the frontiersmen were and how decent and honorable we all were.

Everybody ought not to turn his back on the phenomenon of hatred in whatever form it takes. We have to find out what the anatomy of hatred is before we can understand it. We have to make some attempt to put it into some understandable form. Any kind of group hatred is extremely dangerous and much more volatile than individual hatred. Heinous crimes are committed by groups and it`s all done, of course, in the name of right, justice. It`s John Wayne. It`s the way he thinks. All the crimes committed against Indians are not considered crimes by John Wayne.

I don`t see anybody as evil. When you start seeing people as evil, you`re in trouble. The thing that`s going to save us is understanding. The inspection of the mind of Eichmann (Adolf Eichmann) or Himmler (Heinrich Himmler) . . . Just to dispense with them as evil is not enough, because it doesn`t bring you understanding. You have to see them for what they are. You have to examine John Wayne. He`s not a bad person. Who among us is going to say he`s a bad man? He feels justified for what he does. The damage that he does he doesn`t consider damage, he thinks it`s an honest presentation of the facts.

Three or four times, I`ve pulled a gun on somebody. I had a problem after Charles Manson, deciding to get a gun. But I didn`t want somebody coming in my house and committing mayhem. The Hillside Strangler victims - one of the girls was found in back of my Los Angeles house. My next-door neighbor was murdered, strangled in the bathroom. Mulholland Drive is full of crazy people. We have nuts coming up and down all the time.

Homosexuality is so much in fashion it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me. But if there is someone who is convinced that Jack Nicholson and I are lovers, may they continue to do so. I find it amusing. (1976)

I know I`m not an easy person to get along with, I`m no walk in the park.

(on Burt Reynolds) "I disagree with the thought process of people like him, who is a totally narcissistic person who epitomizes everything wrong with being a celebrity in Hollywood."

(On Cheyenne Autumn (1964)) "That was worse than any other film, because it didn`t tell the truth. Superduper patriots like John Ford could never say that the American government was at fault. He made the evil cavalry captain a foreigner. John Ford had him speak with a thick accent, you didn`t know what he was, but you knew he didn`t represent Mom`s apple pie."

You`re not going to call The Rolling Stones artists. I heard somebody compare them - or The Beatles - to Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach). It was claimed they had created something as memorable and as important as Bach, Haydn (Joseph Haydn), Mozart (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) and Schubert (Franz Schubert). I hate rock `n` roll. It`s ugly. I liked it when the blacks had it in 1927.

Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.

Humphrey Bogart played himself in every movie. Clark Gable always played Clark Gable.

Regrets belong to the past.

On Hollywood: "A cultural boneyard."

(on Dustin Hoffman) I believe that he has talent. He ought to get away from this rather nervous character that he`s played since "Midnight Cowboy." Then we`d really be able to see that he`s a complete actor.

The good directors that I`ve worked with will say I`m a good guy. The other fellows will say I`m a bad guy.

The only reason I`m in Hollywood is that I don`t have the moral courage to refuse the money.

I don`t mind that I`m fat. You still get the same money.

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