Sunday, October 17, 2010
Great stuff McGuane
One of the legends that grew out of your work on The Missouri Breaks was that you wrote the script and then Marlon Brando showed up wanting to change everything. Supposedly you two holed up for a week in a motel to thrash things out. Any truth to that story?
None. The closest thing there was to that story is that Brando did have ways he wanted to do that film: he wanted to be an Indian and he had two pet wolves that he wanted to be in the movie; moreover, he wanted these wolves to kill the girl’s father, wanted them to jump up on the girl’s father’s horse and eat him. So I was told to go out to Los Angeles and see Brando and get the wolf stuff stopped. I went out there and Brando was at home and I spent a couple of days with him. I had a wonderful time but we never talked about the movie at all. We just talked about literature. You know, he’s a very erudite guy and really smart, a kind of crazy-connections smart. At the time he was reading a history of the Jesuits in Minnesota and a book about Louis Leakey’s skulls and the prehominids in Africa. He’d get up in the morning and dress, gather all of his books together, and then get back in bed with his clothes on and read all day. He’s on the verge of being downright scholarly. So that’s what we did there, and when he eventually went off and did the movie he wasn’t an Indian. I still don’t know what he was. He was this kind of tubby Irish killer. I know many people hated that goofy, wild humor he injected into the movie but I appreciated it.
read the whole interview here