The Never-Told Story of Marlon Brando's Secret A-List Acting School
June 13, 2015 8:18 AM   Subscribe

In late 2002, less than two years before his death, Marlon Brando held a 10-day acting symposium called "Lying for a Living." "Some memories of the event — like the exact address of the warehouse in North Hollywood where it took place — are a little hazy. It was, after all, 13 years ago. But nobody who was part of that extraordinary 10-day acting workshop ever will forget a single detail about Marlon Brando’s entrance."
posted by Bron (26 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
"...launching into an improvised monologue that ended, 10 minutes later, with the actor turning around, lifting his gown and mooning the crowd."

Seldom have I punched a "READ MORE" button with more breathless alacrity.
posted by Erasmouse at 8:30 AM on June 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


Great read. What happens when Medavoy passes away?
posted by mahorn at 8:39 AM on June 13, 2015


The whole things strikes me as a bit nuts, but having an archive like that and keeping it unavailable seems like a crime against culture.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:51 AM on June 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm not an actor, but I don't think 2002 Marlon Brando is who I would have gone to for acting tips if I were.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:59 AM on June 13, 2015


Yeah, the "not going to sell it" aspect is fine - I'm sure the Smithsonian would happily take that footage.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:07 AM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


To be fair, Brando's acting tips really never worked for anyone else other than Burt Reynolds.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, is that what "worked" means??
posted by nevercalm at 9:08 AM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not an actor, but I don't think 2002 Marlon Brando is who I would have gone to for acting tips if I were.

His extraordinary performances from the previous decade, including A Dry White Season, The Freshman, Don Juan DeMarco, a batshit turn in The Island of Dr. Moreau, and a stately, typically eccentric performance in his final film, The Score, say you're wrong.

Also, he told Frank Oz that he's not a puppet so he shouldn't direct him like Oz had a hand up his ass, which is exactly what I've wanted to say to many directors.
posted by maxsparber at 9:09 AM on June 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


I remember hearing about this at the time, people stumbling out from the workshop wide-eyed like Kurt Russell escaping from New York. man I'd love to see this. BTW mefites, this is the thread where you should plop down that link to the video that's (hopefully) been floating in the netherworld of the internet for 13 years.
posted by oog at 9:24 AM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I kept reading Kaye as Kanye. Either way, a great read.
posted by univac at 9:26 AM on June 13, 2015


Brando's own archive is most likely where the tapes will end up or the Academy Film Archive (SI's not really equipped to deal with this sort of material, but the Academy is.) I recently worked on a doc that wanted to use bits of these, and Medavoy was pretty firm in his denial (but I have seen quite a bit of the tapes.)
posted by Ideefixe at 9:29 AM on June 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ideefixe: SPILL. Tell us EVERYTHING.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:38 AM on June 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yes, please, Ideefixe!
posted by Bron at 9:41 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah you can't just drop that there

DISH
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:26 AM on June 13, 2015


nthing spill plox
posted by ostranenie at 10:46 AM on June 13, 2015


Words, or it never happened.
posted by Devonian at 10:59 AM on June 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


I signed an NDA. But Jod Kaftan talked about them on This American Life. and wrote about them, too.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:55 AM on June 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


I signed an NDA.

Lame outcome, totally understandable reason.

But Jod Kaftan

I don't know who that is, but: lame

talked about them on This American Life.

DOUBLE LAMEBURGER WITH CHEESE
posted by clockzero at 12:33 PM on June 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


He had students strip naked in front of the entire class. (“The girls were shaking, like, ‘What the f— am I doing here?’ ” recalls Olmos. “But Brando had a reason for it. He always had a reason.”)

I bet he did. Ugh.
posted by alasdair at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I hate NDAs. But I probably can't tell you that.
posted by Devonian at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2015


He had students strip naked in front of the entire class.

Guessing DiCaprio is glad he dodged a bullet on that one. Always read the contract!
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:17 PM on June 13, 2015


I'm not an actor, but I don't think 2002 Marlon Brando is who I would have gone to for acting tips if I were.

2002 Marlon Brando is who you go to for some amazing drugs.
posted by Fizz at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah -- I'm not a big Leo diCaprio fan, but I think he was completely within his rights to have his attorney look at whatever the fuck he was supposed to sign.

I'm dying to see the Robin Williams/anonymous car dealer exchange.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:33 PM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think of the time I brought my Brazilian girlfriend by for an
introduction. He sprang from his chair, ran his hand down the length
of her ballerina's back and said, "Well, aren't you the sweetest
thing?" Then, out of earshot, he whispered to me, "Nice rack.
Obviously you like dark meat. She's very nice, but she doesn't seem
like the kind of girl you could read Schopenhauer to."


That's deal-breaker territory for me!
posted by thelonius at 8:46 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still cannot believe that someone, anyone else on the planet, managed to outspeedtalk Robin Williams.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:33 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brand 0, no one mentioned Last Tang 0. I loved his remarkable voice. I second the anonymous car guy, and Robin Williams!
posted by Oyéah at 8:31 PM on June 14, 2015


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