Marlon Brando Gets a Lesson From Marian Seldes

Interview with Marlon Brando
Conducted by James Grissom
Via Telephone

I called Marian the other night, and I unloaded my burdens on her: My fears, my anger, my regrets. Primarily, my anger. Where has the time gone? What did I do with it? Where did all the promise and the love go? How does she retain both?

As you said she would, she listened to me--patiently, kindly. And then she said the most extraordinary thing.

She said: I never learned Italian or Greek or Mandarin. Those are languages lost to me. If someone were to speak to me in those languages, I would have to smile and let them know that I did not understand. I would have to lead them toward someone with some understanding of what they were saying, what they needed. Well, anger is a language I do not understand, and when I hear it, I become utterly lost. I do not know how to decipher the words or the motivations. Anger is gibberish to me. Lost. Remove from your memory the odd comfort that anger has given to you, and make its words and its motivations alien to you."

And I hung up, and I slept soundly.

I had no haunted dreams.

© 2016  James Grissom

From Come Up A Man


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