(Benjamin Svetkey’s article appeared in the Hollywood Reporter, 6/19; via the Drudge Report.)
This story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Some memories of the event — like the exact address of the warehouse in North Hollywood where it took place — are a little hazy. It was, after all, 13 years ago. But nobody who was part of that extraordinary 10-day acting workshop ever will forget a single detail about Marlon Brando's entrance.
About 20 young acting students and a dozen established stars — including Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Edward James Olmos, Whoopi Goldberg and Harry Dean Stanton — had gathered to learn at the feet of the greatest thespian of the 20th century. He didn't disappoint. When the doors flung open, the 78-year-old Brando appeared wearing a blond wig, blue mascara, a black gown with an orange scarf and a bodice stuffed with gigantic falsies. Waving a single rose in one hand, he sashayed through the warehouse, plunked his 300-pound frame onto a thronelike chair on a makeshift stage and began fussily applying lipstick.