I have a confession. I accidentally discovered that I have a huge celebrity crush last weekend. Marlon. Brando. But you know, young Marlon Brando, not the hot mess that he became later in life.
I’m taking a Screenwriting course right now, and every week we have to watch a different film. Each time I find out the movie we’re watching, I mentally groan, wondering why on earth we have to watch all of these “dumb-dumb movies” as I like to call them. I guess I signed up for this course thinking we were going to be watching films like “Casablanca” or “Gone With the Wind,” but that hasn’t been the case. We’ve been watching these sort of peculiar little films, sometimes foreign, black and white films, that I always think are going to be terrible, but then turn out to be unexpectedly awesome.
Anyway, last week we had to watch “On the Waterfront” with Marlon Brando, and again I thought I was going to hate it. I thought, “Why can’t we watch ‘The Godfather’ or something that I’ve actually heard of with Marlon Brando?” I was skeptical as I popped the movie into my DVD player, but I have to tell you, within the first three minutes I was awestruck by one of the most iconic actors ever…Mr. Marlon Brando. I sat there stunned as I watched him completely embody his character. All I could think was, “That kind of talent cannot be taught.” He just had that “it” factor, that captivating, special something, that all great actors have. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, not because of his good looks (but obviously that, too) but because there is just something so enchanting about him as an actor.
Throughout my life I have heard people quote the famous line, “I could’ve been a contender. I could’ve been somebody,” but I never had any idea where this quote came from. That is, until I suddenly heard it roll right off Brando’s tongue while I was watching “On the Waterfront.” I couldn’t help myself, I had to watch it one more time, and then another time, and then another. I must have watched it four or five times. There was something so sincere about the way he said that line that makes it so identifiable, and might even leave you questioning your own life’s path.
Here’s the scene if you’ve never seen it.
After watching “On the Waterfront” I went on a bit of a Brando binge and watched “A Streetcar Named Desire” and swooned over him even more as Stanley. If you’ve never seen “A Streetcar Named Desire,” trust me, you need it in your life. Everyone needs to hear Brando scream, “Hey Stelllllllaaaaaaaa!!!” at least once, because well, it’s thrilling. Trust me.
So tell me, who are your favorite iconic actors?