Despite a star-studded ensemble that included Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Angela Bassett, and Ed Norton, the news from the set of The Score, which was shot in Montreal last summer, was shockingly negative.
According to Liz Smith of the New York Times, Marlon Brando, who was paid millions for his role, pulled down his trousers in protest at the way things were going. According to some sources, he insisted on having his co-star Robert De Niro direct key scenes rather than the film’s director.
De Niro and Norton portray three generations of crooks in the film, which releases next Friday. They are all involved in the same robbery of a precious sceptre from a Montreal custom house.
On the set of The Score, Brando was at his worst in his final feature film role. He was a pain to deal with and had been paid a stunning $3 million for only three weeks’ labor. Brando showed up to the sets naked from the waist down on the first day. This was apparently done on purpose to prevent the filmmaker from filming anything below his shoulders in order to hide the “full measure of his corpulence.” On multiple instances, Brando harassed Oz, which might be interpreted as the actor’s revolt against his employment, which he returned to only to pay his extravagant lifestyle.
Brando was apparently content to appear in close-ups but not in his full big-bellied majesty. “He was monstrous,” one anonymous source stated. “At first I thought that the guy might be senile and had simply forgotten to get dressed, but it was part of this weird tactic. Nobody knew where to look.”
Because Oz worked as a puppeteer on the Muppet Show, Brando dubbed him Miss Piggy, which embarrassed the director and resulted in violent disputes. Because Brando refused to be directed by Oz, Robert De Niro was forced to direct the scenes in which Brando appeared, which were conveyed by the director via a headset. “I bet you wish I was a puppet so you could stick your hand up my ass and make me do what you want,” Brando said one day, upset by Oz. In his last scene, Brando refused to comply or grin, prompting the filmmaker to rectify the problem using CGI in post-production.
Brando’s career has taken a bizarre and erratic path from his early years as America’s most acclaimed actor. He showed up on the set of Apocalypse Now without having memorized his lines, openly criticized The Freshman while the picture was still being shot, and notoriously goofing around on the set of Dr. Moreau’s Island.
The Los Angeles Daily News questioned more anonymous insiders on the set of The Score, in the aftermath of Brando’s recent hijinks. One said, “Whatever you heard, it was worse. He was misbehaving, to say the least.”