Born: April 3, 1924, Nebraska, US | Successful For: Actor | Zodiac Sign: Aries
Keys to Success:
Marlon Brando Allowed His Negative Past To Fuel Him, Not Destroy Him:
Marlon Brando, went through his fair share of adversity growing up. His mother, who also was an actor, was a bit of a non-conformist for her time, she used to often wear trousers, smoke, drink, (so much that she was an alcoholic), and her husband would often have to pick her up from bars. Brando states "The anguish that her drinking produced was that she preferred getting drunk to caring for us." Brando also had a negative relationship with his father (who many also believe was an alcoholic), who would often condemn his abilities. He states "I was his namesake, but nothing I did ever pleased or even interested him. He enjoyed telling me I couldn't do anything right. He had a habit of telling me I would never amount to anything." His parents divorced when was 11, but later reconciled . His father would often beat him, and slept with prostitutes which young Brando was very aware of. The negative circumstances built the character that many credit as one of the greatest actors of all time, however if he hadn't gone through such difficult times, he may not have become the actor he is now so infamously known as. It was in his ability to gain a sense of motivation from his negative past that allowed him to be a successful actor. "I hated authority and did everything I could to defeat it by resisting it, subverting it, tricking it and outmaneuvering it. I would do anything to avoid being treated like a cipher."
Brando Understood That Knowledge Is Power, When Utilized:
Growing up Brando was considered unintelligent in school, he hated the feeling of inferiority, which led to his “bad-boy” mentality. He would lock teachers in rooms, set fires, and was eventually expelled. However, this led him to a purpose to continuously learn throughout his life as a sense of revenge. In fact, according to the book Brando's Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work, he had a library of over 4,000 books on everything from philosophy, psychology, religion, sex and more all of which were heavily annotated with notes. This can easily be noticed in his acting roles (he was known to intensely study his roles and study with one of the greatest acting teachers of all time Stella Adler), his seduction abilities, and his body language all of which contributed to the roles he was able to successfully act out. Women (including legends such as Marilyn Monroe) thought of Brando as an intellect due to his way of going into deep thought in the middle of conversations before saying his opinion of something. He had the ability to control his emotions, as opposed to reacting to situations.
Marlon Brando Didn't Follow The Crowd, He Invented His Own Style, Paved His Own Path, and Left a Legacy:
Brando was easily considered a non-conformist, and a man who invented his own acting style (even though he had a major disregard for the profession), many of which have looked up to today even by the likes of Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Johnny Depp. Brando, along with James Dean are highly credited for a “realism” acting style, portraying a realistic, and not over exaggerated type of role playing. Brando was also known to have cue cards all over sets that he’d read off when acting, in his perspective, it was a way to portray the character as actually thinking about what to say instead just remembering lines. This was even done on one of the greatest movies ever made, The Godfather when Brando played the part of Don Corleone. Brando’s mentality of doing things your own way, and not labelling ways of thinking can be noted by this quote: “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?”
“I am myself, and if I have to hit my head against a brick wall to remain true to myself, I will do it.”
- Quote by Marlon Brando
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