Secret acting class: Marlon Brando Acting School
Published: June 12, 2015
Secret acting class: Marlon Brando Acting School, Hollywood legend Marlon Brando held a secret acting course for a number of A-listers to ease his financial woes, friends of the late star have revealed.
Two years before his death, the Last Tango in Paris actor embarked on a 10-day acting course attended by the likes of Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Robin Williams.
He set up the course for stars and budding drama students in 2002 to help with the upkeep of his $10 million home on Mulholland Drive, former secretary Alice Marchak claims.
Brando made an unforgettable entrance dressed as a woman, holding a red rose before plonking down in a chair to apply his red lipstick, writes the Hollywood Reporter.
‘He was looking to generate money, but the products he came up with weren’t viable. He had an idea for an earthquake-proof house. And a way to air-condition homes that involved drilling. Things that couldn’t be sold on QVC,’ said Ms Marchak.
I told him he could make money if his face or voice was part of a product – I suggested acting classes.’
In one session, the A Streetcar Named Desire star plucked a homeless man from a dumpster and brought him in for acting lessons.
A jazz musician played his favorite tunes on a rented piano while the French tightrope walker who had crossed the Twin Towers, did stunts on a high-wire.
Students were told to strip naked in one lesson while King of Pop Michael Jackson even went to another of the sessions.
Miami Vice’s Edward James Olmos, who attended the classes, said Brando’s rule was that everyone had to take part.
‘The whole class was improv, from beginning to end,’ he said. ‘Nothing was scripted.
‘Brando had never taught an acting class before – this was the only time in his whole life. This was going to be his legacy to the acting community.’
Brando used $50,000 for a QVC startup fund he had set aside and used it to produce a series of DVDs about acting, starring himself.
He rented a warehouse near Sunset Boulevard where he had a wooden stage built and then invited his famous friends to participate.
The movie star even hired a director and a nine-man camera crew to tape every bit of the seminar.
Brando left an estate worth $20 million when he died in 2004.
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