Today, April 3rd, marks what would have been the 87th birthday of one of my favourite actors though I feel as if it’s almost wrong of me to call him such because I was a fan of his for many of his personal ideologies first and his acting second. Earlier on when I started drawing the comic I would receive notes on a fairly monthly basis from different readers either through the comments on the site or my email berating me for talking about Brando so much and asking if I was aware of all the horrible stories people have to tell about him.

The short of it is, yes, I am aware of the Hollywood press, I am aware that he had a very tumultuous family life which was, to varying degrees, his own doing. I am also aware that much of the information about his life that people accept as fact was celebrity gossip that holds about as much weight as the various magazines in the supermarket checkout aisle. Instead of trying to justify what he did with his life or debate the various biographies written about his exploits with people, I’ll just say that there are more than a few things about him that I have a lot of respect for and there are a good many things he’s said that helped me through rough patches in my life. No one is perfect but that isn’t what’s important as long as a person can say something that resonates with you. You don’t have to try to be another person, but you can certainly pay homage to the aspects of them that mean something to you.

With that, here are some of my favourite Brando quotes. Take from them what you will, but they’ve managed to inspire me in my travels;

“You can say something in a certain spirit, with a smile, but when it appears in print, there’s no smile.”
“I don’t see anybody as evil. When you start seeing people as evil, you’re in trouble”
“I put on an act sometimes, and people think I’m insensitive. Really, it’s like a kind of armour because I’m too sensitive.”
“The more sensitive you are, the more likely you are to be brutalised, develop scabs and never evolve. Never allow yourself to feel anything because you always feel too much.”
“Regret is useless in life. It’s in the past. All we have is now.”
“Kowalski was always right, and never afraid. He never wondered, he never doubted. His ego was very secure. And he had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate. I’m afraid of it. I detest the character.”
“What do I care? I’ve made all the money I need to make. I won a couple of Academy Awards if I ever cared about that. I’ve been nominated I don’t know how many times and I’m in a position of respect and standing in my craft as an actor in this country. So what the hell, I don’t need to gild the lily.”
“Even today I meet people who think of me automatically as a tough, insensitive, coarse guy named Stanley Kowalski. They can’t help it, but, it is troubling.”
“there was a scene in a taxicab, where I turn to my brother, who’s come to turn me over to the gangsters, and I lament to him that he never looked after me, he never gave me a chance, that I could have been a contender, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum … “You should of looked out after me, Charley.” It was very moving. And people often spoke about that, “Oh, my God, what a wonderful scene, Marlon, blah blah blah blah blah.” It wasn’t wonderful at all. The situation was wonderful. Everybody feels like he could have been a contender, he could have been somebody, everybody feels as though he’s partly bum, some part of him. He is not fulfilled and he could have done better, he could have been better. Everybody feels a sense of loss about something. So that was what touched people. It wasn’t the scene itself.”
“Most people want those fantasies of those who are worthy of our hate – we get rid of a lot of anger that way; and of those who are worthy of our idolatry. Whether it’s Farrah Fawcett or somebody else, it doesn’t make a difference. They’re easily replaceable units, pick ’em out like a card file. “

“Privacy is not something that I’m merely entitled to, it’s an absolute prerequisite.”
“I don’t mind that I’m fat. You still get the same money.”
“Everybody ought not to turn his back on the phenomenon of hatred in whatever form it takes. We have to find out what the anatomy of hatred is before we can understand it. We have to make some attempt to put it into some understandable form. Any kind of group hatred is extremely dangerous and much more volatile than individual hatred. Heinous crimes are committed by groups and it’s all done, of course, in the name of right, justice.”
“Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me. But if there is someone who is convinced that Jack Nicholson and I are lovers, may they continue to do so. I find it amusing.”
“Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.”
“The good directors that I’ve worked with will say I’m a good guy. The other fellows will say I’m a bad guy.”
“When I saw The Godfather the first time, it made me sick; all I could see were my mistakes and I hated it. But years later, when I saw it on television from a different perspective, I decided it was a pretty good film.”
“I had a great deal of respect for Don Corleone; I saw him as a man of substance, tradition, dignity, refinement, a man of unerring instinct who just happened to live in a violent world and who had to protect himself and his family in this environment. I saw him as a decent person regardless of what he had to do, as a man who believed in family values and was shaped by events just like the rest of us.”
“News is business. And, uh, people sell news, and unfortunately people in my position are in the public eye, are sellable commodities, but they’re not any different than Kleenex or Dial Soap or anything else. And uh, so if we find something out that’s about your sex life, or something you do with your fingernails after you cut them off, if you smoke the grime from your navel, then … then … that’s big news. That’s important…. But anyway, it doesn’t matter. Because, finally, you know … I’ve found that people really don’t believe all the nonsense they read. And they look at you when they meet you, and wonder if it’s true, but they finally make a decision based on what their experience with you personally is.”
“Everyone on a movie deserves an award – not just one person.”
“People will like you who never met you, they think you’re absolutely wonderful; and then people also will hate you, for reasons that have nothing to do with any real experience with you. People don’t want to lose their enemies. We have favorite enemies, people we love to hate and we hate to love. If they do something good, we don’t like it. I found myself doing that with Ronald Reagan. He is anathema to me. If he does something that’s reasonable, I find my mind trying to find some way to interpret it so that it’s not reasonable, so that somewhere it’s jingoist extremism.”
“I just don’t believe in washing my dirty underwear for all to see, and I’m not interested in the confessions of movie stars”
“The only thing an actor owes his public is not to bore them.”
“There’s a line in the picture where he snarls, ‘Nobody tells me what to do.’ That’s exactly how I’ve felt all my life.”