A few nights ago, battling a severe case of insomnia, I caught a fascinating documentary on TCM called Brando, about the life of arguably one of the best actors ever, Marlon Brando. He was a man who loved life, played practical jokes on loved ones, and was very likely insane — but in a hilarious, Island of Dr. Moreau sort of way. Not to mention, he used to be drop dead gorgeous — at least, until he got muh-huge. Not satisfied, I headed over to his IMDB profile to learn more about the man — and that’s when we truly discovered that the real genius of Brando lies in his creativity in binge eating. Whereas today’s drug of choice is cocaine, Brando preferred a much more sinister mistress, Mizz Rocky Road. The following passage is taken directly from the Trivia section, but was fodder for hours of laughter yesterday afternoon.
I’ve put the best bits first — but a full rundown of his crafty binge eating can be found after the jump. The weirdest thing? I completely believe every single thing!
- Close friend Carlo Fiore wrote that during the ’50s and early ’60s, Brando went on crash diets before his films commenced shooting, but when he lost his willpower, he would eat huge breakfasts consisting of corn flakes, sausages, eggs, bananas and cream, and a huge stack of pancakes drenched in syrup.
- During a birthday party for Brando–the film’s director as well as star–the crew gave him a belt with a card reading, “Hope it fits.” A sign was placed below the birthday cake saying: “Don’t feed the director.” He reportedly ate at least four pieces of cake that day.
- Ice cream was the culprit: Brando would purloin a five-gallon tub of the fattening dessert, row himself out into the lagoon and indulge.
- Living on his island of Tetioroa, Brando created what he called “real-life Mounds Bars” by cracking open a coconut, melting some chocolate in the sun, then stirring it into the coconut for a tasty treat.
- By the 1980s, there were reports that one of Brando’s girlfriends had left him because he failed to keep his promise of losing weight. Marlon seemed to be dieting, but to her astonishment, he never lost weight. She found out that his buddies had been throwing bags of Burger King Whoppers over the gates of his Mulholland Dr. estate late at night to relieve the hunger pangs of their famished friend.
- Finally, a reported Brando snack was a pound of cooked bacon shoved into an entire loaf of bread.
Brando = The Stuff of Legends. More after the jump!
- The Men (1950) co-star Richard Erdman claimed Brando’s diet circa 1950 consisted “mainly of junk food, usually take-out Chinese or peanut butter, which he consumed by the jarful.”
- By the mid-1950s he was renowned for eating boxes of Mallomars and cinnamon buns, washing them down with a quart of milk.
- Karl Malden claimed that, during the shooting of One-Eyed Jacks (1961), he would have “two steaks, potatoes, two apple pies a la mode and a quart of milk” for dinner, necessitating constant altering of his costumes.
- His second wife Movita, who had a lock put on their refrigerator to stop pilfering by what she thought was the household staff, awoke one morning to find the lock broken and teeth marks on a round of cheese.
- Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) costumer James Taylor claimed that Brando split the seat on 52 pairs of pants during the shooting of the film, necessitating that stretch fabric be sewn into Marlon’s replacement duds. He split those, too.
- Movita also related how he often drove down to hot dog stands late at night, wolfing down as many as six at a time.
- It was reported during the filming of The Missouri Breaks (1976) that the environmentally sensitive Brando fished a frog out of a pond, took a huge bite out of the hapless amphibian, and threw it back into the drink.