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Superman did not care much for his father — at least when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Christopher Reeve was no fan of the late, legendary Marlon Brando after the two worked together on 1978’s Superman.
With the buzz for next month’s Justice League reaching critical mass, it is time to look back at one of the more interesting tales from Superman’s past.
In a March 1982 interview with David Letterman, unearth by Heat Vision, the late Superman actor said he was disappointed with his experience with Brando, saying the Oscar-winning actor who played his onscreen father, Jor-El, was only in it for the money — and it showed.
“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 told Letterman. “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.”
Reeve said, in his opinion, Brando could have been a great beacon to younger actors, such as himself, but he threw in the towel.
“I just think it would be sad to be 53, or whatever he is, and not give a damn, that’s all,” Reeve told Letterman.
Making it clear he would say the same to Brando’s face, Reeve added, “He could be a real leader for us.”
When asked if it was exciting to work with Brando, Reeve replied: “Not really. No. I had a wonderful time, but the man didn’t care. He just took the $2 million [salary] and ran.” (That would be around $7.8 million in 2017.)
Brando’s Superman payday became the stuff of Hollywood legend. Director Richard Donner shared his experience with Brando in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year. The filmmaker said he was warned Brando “hates to work and he loves money.”
Reeve said he was hurt because he “cared so much” and Brando was merely “phoning it in.”
In his closing thought on the matter, Reeve made it clear he believed Brando was a brilliant actor, at one point, but in his opinion, no longer motivated by anything but dollar signs.
“Marlon’s going to kill me,” Reeve said as his kicker.
Watch the segment below.
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