Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Conversations with Marlon Brando" by Lawrence Grobel


Marlon. Brando. Icon. Also a very thoughtful man, if he's interested in the subject matter or having a conversation with a writer/journalist he admires or likes. I never was obsessed with Brando or his films, I like them, like I like ice cream, but I don't obsess about the cream. On the other hand, many people do obsess over Brando, especially regarding his personality, and his dislike of the acting profession - which I think is not true. 

He doesn't like 'professions' in general. But clearly he does like acting, and I think the reason he likes it, is because he's a very curious sort of guy. He likes to research and learn. And I think a big part of acting is the research part, and the ability to watch and listen to others. He's also quite funny in this book which is pretty much in the Q&A format. Clearly he asked for, and insisted, that this interview would deal with issues of the Native American world, and the horrible things that were done to these people. And in actuality, the best part of the book is Brando putting his thoughts and articulating his 'anger' regarding how the American Indian was treated in its past and also, in contemporary times. He's very observational and extremely smart fellow. And yes, he does talk about acting - but he doesn't gossip. Except for his dislike of Charlie Chaplin, because he treated his son very mean or rude manner. Also his brief commentary on Tennessee Williams, Kazan, is interesting. Again, he's a very talented observer and I suspect that if you are a friend of Marlon Brando, then he's a friend for life. It seems he has a series of long term friendships from people he grew up with. An interesting little book. 

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