Hollywood icon Marlon Brando’s time on Superman: The Movie is the stuff of show business legend. After negotiating an absolutely massive salary that dwarfed those of the actual stars, the actor who played Superman’s Kryptonian father also once tried to negotiate himself off set by suggesting that he could provide the voice for Jor-El, but that the character onscreen could be played by a bagel or a suitcase, since nobody knows what Kryptonians really look like. Now, apparently, it turns out Cary Elwes has some insight into the bizarre saga, too: he was at one point hired to get Brando up in the morning.
As a sixteen year old in London, Elwes apparently got the job after an assistant director on the set of Superman: The Movie fell ill. He was essentially the film’s Brando wrangler, trying his best to coax the actor to work on time.
“My job was to get Marlon out of his trailer,” Elwes told The Telegraph. “Marlon had no incentive to be on time, because his agent had struck the most amazing deal for him. Every day that the picture went over, he got another million dollars. So he drove poor [Richard] Donner up the wall, because he just strolled in whenever he felt like it. Sometimes before lunch, sometimes…not before lunch.”
Coaxing the beast from its lair “involved some comedy”, as he puts it. “How did I manage it? Mainly with food. Once you fed Marlon, he was in a much better mood. So I tried to find delicacies that appealed to him, which were limited at Shepperton at the time. He mainly wanted desserts.”
Christopher Reeve expressed frustration with that kind of behavior in the past.
“I don’t say this to be vicious, but I don’t worship at the altar of Marlon Brando, because I feel he’s copped out in a certain way,” Reeve said during a 1982 interview with David Letterman, as uncovered by THR. “What happened is the press loved him whether he was good, bad or indifferent; that people just thought he was an institution no matter what he did, so he doesn’t care anymore.”
“I just think it would be sad to be 53, or whatever he is, and not give a damn, that’s all,” Reeve explained. “I just think it’s too bad that the man has kind of been forced into that hostility.”
from Ultimate Comic Blog