The Godfather

“The movie was a stinker, it’s going to be a flop”: ‘The Godfather’ Star Marlon Brando Wanted to Retire From Acting After Unpaid Overtime in a Comedy Movie

Legendary actor Marlon Brando is known for his amazing performances in films such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and A Streetcar Named Desire. The actor has won two Academy Awards for Best Actor and has often been considered to be one of the greatest actors of the century.

Towards the end of his career, Brando was involved in many controversies due to his difficult on-set behavior and troubled private life. He starred in supporting roles in his later years, one of which was the beloved crime comedy The Freshman. While the film received many positive responses, for a brief time Marlon Brando was hellbent on giving the film bad press.

Final Years Of Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando

Since the early days of his career, Marlon Brando had been a difficult actor to work with. Stories of him being kicked out of stageplays due to his erratic behavior have been doing the rounds. In one instance, the actor was selected by the Lunts family to play the son of legendary actor Alfred Lunt in a production of O Mistress Mine and was even coached by the actor for his audition. However, Brando did not attempt to read his lines during the audition, leading to him not getting the gig.

After his amazing performance in A Streetcar Named Desire, which he had also performed in its Broadway production, Marlon Brando gained international fame. He earned his first Academy Award and Golden Globe for the film On The Waterfront and he became the star of a generation with The Wild One. However, the actor faced a string of box-office failures which damaged his career. Finally, his performance as Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather brought him back to the forefront, winning him his second Academy Award.

The actor then starred in acclaimed films such as Last Tango in Paris, Apocalypse Now, and The Formula. However, the actor had become notorious for his on-set antics. For Apocalypse Now, the actor showed up massively overweight and refused to learn his lines, adding to the already troubled production of Coppola’s war film. His final years were marred with troubles as he suffered from obesity, diabetes, and frequent mood disorders.

Marlon Brando’s Damning Comments On The Freshman

Marlon Brando in The Godfather
Marlon Brando in The Godfather

In 1990, Marlon Brando starred along with Matthew Broderick in the crime comedy The Freshman. Directed by Andrew Bergman, the film saw Brando playing a parody version of his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather, while Broderick plays a college freshman who gets entangled in a smuggling affair.

Brando signed on for the film in 1988, however, after numerous delays, production started in June 1989. Brando was paid a base salary of $3 million for the film, along with a percentage in profits. However, when filming started going overtime, the actor demanded an additional million to compensate. When the producers refused, Brando threatened that he would badmouth the film in the press. He kept his promise by calling an interviewer from Globe and Mail, and stated that the film was a ‘stinker’. He said,

“It’s going to be a flop…but after this, I’m retiring.”

Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick in The Freshman
Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick in The Freshman

After the damning remarks, the producers seem to have paid him the extra salary as he redacted his statement a few weeks later. He said that he was going through ‘trying times of a personal nature’ during the interview and said,

“Clearly, I was wrong about the quality of the picture.”

The actor is said to have loved the film since then, even asking for a sequel. However, despite the redacted statements and love poured by the actor, the damage seems to have been done as the film earned only $21 million at the box office against a $12 million budget. The film did receive positive reviews.

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