VKN Badass Guys: Marlon Brando

Throughout history there have been exceptional men who’ve inspired us by the way they lead their lives and accomplish success. This is VK Nagrani’s Badass Guys Series.

According to Los Angeles magazine, “Brando was rock and roll before anybody knew what rock and roll was.” Brando is a perfect example of classic masculinity and the first bad boy in Hollywood. He characterized the “greaser” look in his film “The Wild One” – giving a voice to a generation of troubled youth in an ever preppy 50’s generation.

Let’s take a look at one of Hollywood’s most iconic figures, and why we think he is such a badass.

1. One of the Most Influential Actors Ever

Marlon Brando was nominated eight times for the Academy Awards, winning twice. Seven of those eight nominations were for his work as a lead character in such classic films as “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “Julius Caesar” and little independent movie you’ve probably never heard of called “The Godfather.”

The American Film Institute listed him as the fourth greatest-male-star-whose-screen-debut-was-before-1950 – a mouthful of a title, but an achievement nonetheless.

2. Man of Few Words

Although he was known for his brash and somewhat hedonistic lifestyle, he very rarely spoke about his personal life. Except for one famous interview done with the legendary Truman Capote, where he opened up like a tap, detailing his inability to love, how his mother “broke apart like porcelain” – and how the last few years of his life had been a mess.

3. He Shook the Status Quo

In an event that surprised literally nobody, Marlon Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as a guy who makes offers people can’t refuse, or something like that. But, the events of the Wounded Knee occupation were taking place at that time (the second one, not the one where nearly 200 Native Americans were massacred) and Brando wanted to show support. In a typical Marlon Brando brash way, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather in full Apache attire to accept his Academy Award in his stead and offered a plea for people to recognize the condition of the false images and stereotypes that Hollywood and the media placed on people of color, in particular, the American Indian.

4. Wasn’t Afraid to Be Himself

Brando was an eccentric troubled soul if there ever was one. He was known for his antics on and off set. Marlon used to ride the subways with pieces of bread in his ears and once, while walking past a pond, caught a frog and took a bite of it before tossing it back. He also reportedly got into a spitting fight at the zoo and won. He would love to play tricks on people and once went to a bar in a wheelchair and when an evangelical woman told him God would cure him he sprung up out of the seat and began tap dancing on top of the table.

Keep checking the VK Nagrani blog for more editions of our Badass Guys Series.

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