From The Blood Of Brando
The band of which actor Johnny Depp is a member is called The Hollywood Vampires. This might just be more apropos that Depp even realizes. Depp is an actor in Hollywood who was born from the chosen bloodline of the nexus and influence of every actor that came after him legendary actor Marlon Brando. Brando restructured the terrain of acting after he hit the scene in 1950. He’s extensively considered the most influential Actor of his generation and possibly the greatest actor that ever lived. Brando modified the technique of playing a role and possibly no film or television artist in any field ever had as many predecessors as he. This is principally true of the white male actors that followed in Brando’s footprints. They all studied him. They all loved him. They all copied him. They all strived to be him. He sunk his teeth into them, and they were infected by his seductive bite as they continue his blood legacy in the film industry even today. This shadowing of Brando started early on even with some of his contemporaries most notably James Dean. Dean heavily mimicked Brando’s acting and also what Dean believed was also Brando’s lifestyle. Superstar actor Jack Nicholson idolized Brando and followed his career and lifestyle path. In step with acting Brando redesigned the idea of what the celebrity male actor’s life was and what it could be. Of course Brando’s lifestyle included being a compulsive, narcissistic, egomaniacal, self-involved, abusive womanizer. Like the Actors who would eventually make up his coven, women were Brando’s obsession. Brando’s countless affairs with a myriad of women are well documented. He fathered Fourteen children with various different women. In his own words Brando explained his quandary “I don’t think I was constructed to be monogamous. Men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed into as many females as possible.” Brando certainly followed his impulses in this area. Those impulses led to many sexual dalliances with many women, and it also led to abuse and much heartache. Obviously, this idea Brando and his brethren have of having sex with as many women as they can and getting whatever they want from as many women as they can doesn’t apply to the women, the women must be loyal fans and always serving if not they are discarded like yesterday’s teen beat magazine. An actress who had a relationship with Brando for nearly ten years Rita Moreno described the toxicity and the abuse she received at the hands of Brando “He was a bad guy when it came to women. I was such a different person then. I had all the makings of a doormat.” While still in a relationship with Moreno Brando pursued other women, marrying Anna Kashfi in 1957 and Movita Castaneda in 1960 and fathering children with both of them. Not long after a reconciliation, Moreno found out she was pregnant with Brando’s child, but his reaction was not at all what she expected. “To my shock and horror, Marlon immediately arranged for an abortion,” she wrote, recalling that he arranged for someone else to pick her up after the procedure, which was illegal at the time. But things hadn’t gone smoothly. She soon found out the fetus was still inside of her and had to be removed surgically at the hospital. Instead of sympathy, Brando expressed anger that the person who performed the abortion had wronged him. Brando then took off to make his next film Mutiny on the Bounty, where he started an affair with co-star Tarita Teriipaia. “Seeing him with yet another woman was all too much.” Moreno stated. When he returned home, Moreno swallowed a bunch of his sleeping pills in one gulp. “I went to bed to die,” she wrote in her book. “This wasn’t a revenge suicide, but a consolation, an escape-from-pain death.” And if it weren’t for his assistant finding her and rushing her to the hospital to get her stomach pumped, her fate may have been completely different. Looking back, she said “It was humiliating, and I was letting him step all over me. I wanted to get rid of myself because I didn’t think I deserved to live.” Brando conveyed no recourse or ever showed any remorse for what happened with Moreno. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it. Brando loves the fact that women chased him around. In Brando’s own autobiography he gleefully writes about it. Confessing his many sexual encounters with women some of which were complete strangers who randomly showed up at his house that he had sex with. Brando rejoices in telling these stories of how women found him to be so irresistible. Including one particularly mentally disturbed woman he writes about who thought Brando was actually God. Brando took advantage of this mentally ill woman by having sexual intercourse with her and assuring her that he was God, and that this “The sex” was all okay. Brando thinking he’s God? Clearly this woman was not that far off. Brando was cruel to women all through his life using them to satisfy his needs and then abandoning them and then trashing them up and down. Brando was infamously involved in one of the most controversial movies and scenes in film. In Last Tango In Paris Brando’s character rapes actress Marie Schneider’s character using a stick of butter as lubricant. The evil of the scene is that Director Bernardo Bertolucci and Brando thought of the idea on their own without involving the young actress. “The sequence of the butter is an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting it,” Bertolucci said. “I’d been, in a way, horrible to Maria, because I didn’t tell her what was going on because I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress.” “I wanted her to react humiliated,” he said. “I think she hated me and also Marlon because we didn’t tell her.” “To obtain something I think you have to be completely free,” he said. “I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage, I wanted Maria to feel the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for all of her life.” Schneider’s revelations about the incident only came to light recently. “Marlon said to me: Marie don’t worry, it’s just a movie, but during the scene even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real I was crying real tears.” She said “I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologize.” In his autobiography Brando recalls the scene was thought up as an alternative to something else planned because as Brando says it was a freezing day and as he said “His penis shrunk up to the size of a peanut and he felt humiliated in front of the crew” making Bertolucci unable to film him in the nude. It’s hard not to make the connection here of a man with a little penis taking his frustrations out on a woman because instead of him having to expose his sexual organs which would be the focus of the scene, he and this director decided to abuse the woman instead and humiliate her. The fascination and affinity these Actors who followed him have for Brando might be mostly tied to the way he was revered, admired, and celebrated largely by women and their fervent fan bases. They all want a piece of that even if it’s just for a little while. Brando had great contempt and rancor of the press and media and played many mind games with them. This is another trait as “grand elder” that he passed down to the next generations. Brando was noted for his unprofessionalism and selfishness on the set of his films. Often showing up late or even not at all. Making everyone around him wait and wait and wait because he was the most important thing going. Producers and Filmmakers often enabled Brando’s behavior by putting him on such a high pedestal above everyone else. Often letting him operate by a separate set of rules, schedules and rearranging other people’s lives for him. Constantly pursuing Brando for roles even when he said he was done with acting and didn’t want to work anymore. Giving into Brando by paying him outrageous fee’s for only a few days of work often times a million dollars a week. Giving Brando extra perks and gifts that nobody else received. The rule was everyone else needed to be on time, but Brando could be late. This permitted and inspired Brando to see just how much he could get away with as he continued this process even late into his career and every new generation of filmmakers and actors continued to go along with it. Brando’s magnetism was an alluring factor in why so many young white males desired to be him. Desperately coveting that kind of appeal and receiving that type of reverence. Many of these actors aren’t popular in childhood and in school as Brando wasn’t either. Many of them are shy and they gravitate toward acting because it’s a way to get all the attention onto them without doing much. Many of them feel lost in life with no direction and no idea what they want to do with their lives. They have childhoods disconnected from their families even their parents and they find a new family in the movie business. Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, and a whole passel of other actors from generations past demonstrably followed Brando’s path. The ultimate example of this and probably the actor who mimics Brando’s personal life and career the most is Johnny Depp. Depp worshipped Brando probably more than any of them. He worked with Brando closely in films on two occasions. Depp got to be very friendly with Brando. More so than the others in the family tree. Like James Dean, Depp mimicked Brando’s acting technique and his lifestyle. His approach to working and the media and his approach to his personal relationship with women. Brando didn’t invent the mass womanizing of Hollywood starlets, but he certainly brought it to the forefront. Actors like Laurence Olivier and Peter O’Toole may have been drinkers and night animals, but they were often married to one woman, had healthy relationships with their children, showed up on time and played nice with other people and lived somewhat normal lives. Over the years Depp has adopted many of Brando’s eccentricities. Depp has mastered the art of media manipulation and publicity. Like Brando Depp claims not to seek attention and the wish to keep his personal life confidential yet Depp has always picked high profile relationships with the most famous actresses or models of the day that he could find. The tall tale told of Depp over the years is that somehow, he stuck a finger in Hollywood’s eye waiving off their plan for his career and blazing his own trail. This is a carbon copy of what was always said of Brando. Yet Depp’s career has always been done within the studio system of Hollywood and Depp and Brando both demanded huge paychecks for their “art”. This is just the way to have their cake and eat it too. It’s a strategy that worked for Brando and Depp. Pretend you’re an eccentric genius who can’t be bothered with convention because you’re so special of an artist and people will give you things. Pretend that you suffer so much for your work and don’t really care about money or fame. Of course, it’s all just a strategy to get what they want and have things their way. Depp might dress like a someone you’d see living on the street near the sunset strip, but he spends $30,000 a month on wine, owns fourteen different multimillion dollar residencies throughout the world, spent $5 Million dollars to have his friend the late Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes shot out of a cannon in Aspen, Colorado, and spends time with Saudi Arabian Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on his mega yacht. According to a source familiar with Depp’s contracts, “Celebrities have security, but not teams doing overlapping, 24-hour shifts like Depp’s.” In addition to a personal sound technician to manage his earpiece needs “so he doesn’t have to learn lines,” You can add that to another trait Depp learned from Brando who also refused to learn his lines. Using the excuse that it made him more spontaneous when the real reason was as Brando’s director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola unashamedly blurted out “Marlon Is lazy and simply does not want to take the time to learn his lines.” Lately Depp has mutated into Marlon Brando with fervor. Consuming too many women, too many drugs and too much alcohol. Too much Celebrity and mostly just too much Depp. Brando almost overdosed on himself, and Depp is careening down that path of self-exposure and destruction as well. Even Depp’s malicious lawsuit against his ex-wife Actress Amber Heard has Marlon Brando’s vindictiveness written all over it. Brando filed a $50 million lawsuit against producers and distributors of the 1978 movie “Superman” for allegedly violating terms of an agreement for the actor’s services in the film. In addition to damages, the suit asked that the defendants be enjoined from showing the film or using “the name, acts, poses, appearances, performances, image, likeness, voice and/or other personal attributes” This was an amazingly spiteful and egomaniacal and acquisitive act by Brando considering that he agreed to play Superman’s father in “Superman” for a salary that even today remains “unprecedented.” Brando was paid $3.7 million and a 11.75% backend to play Jor-El, for 13 days work for less than 20 minutes of screen time. Like Brando Depp also turned on the people closest to him and who helped him become the rich and famous star that he is. Depp has shown more toxicity the older he gets much like Brando did. In a March 1982 interview with David Letterman late Superman actor Christopher Reeve acknowledged that 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 Millions and ran.” Brando’s Superman payday became the stuff of Hollywood legend. Superman Director Richard Donner also shared his experience with Brando. 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.” If Christopher reeve was turned off by Brando phoning in performances only for the money and suing people out of anger. It begs the question of why the others like Depp weren’t. I can only imagine that what Brando did appealed to them. It was likely the kind of lawsuit Depp and fellow compulsive litigator Tom Cruise would love to file themselves. Brando has even been involved in lawsuits after his death more than two dozen that his estate has been involved in since the actor’s death in 2004. Throughout his career Brando was cruel and even abusive to his co-stars. Johnny Depp went from one abuse lawsuit to another as he is currently being sued by a crew member on one of his films for physical assault. Many Brando disciples like Depp have been involved in or sued for incidents of physical assault against men and women. In 1990 Brando’s Eldest Son Christian went on trial in Los Angles for murdering the boyfriend of his sister Cheyenne. Brando’s son killed his daughter’s boyfriend. His daughter then committed suicide. His son Christian’s severe drug and alcohol abuse led him to an early grave after he was released from prison. The bloodline of Brando whether it’s his actual children or the children of his acting legacy seem to meet with violent actions, hateful outbursts, bleak times, and dark fates. James Dean died tragically in a car wreck at the age of 24 trying to be the wild one. Mickey Rourke’s life has been almost a constant disaster of drugs, alcohol, charges of spousal abuse, and physical assault and openly threatening other actors and ruining his career by spurning people who once helped him. Sean Penn did time in jail for assault as has been seen punching and spitting on photographers and charges of abusing women for years. Tom Cruise seems to live a healthier life physically, but he also took Brando’s massive ego, manipulation of the press and penchant for suing people and abusing women and ran hog wild with it. River Phoenix another disciple of Brando died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 ironically right outside the front door of Johnny Depp’s own nightclub The Viper Room in Los Angeles where he had been inside all night taking drugs. Val Kilmer’s life and health fell apart when he was diagnosed with mouth cancer and refused medial treatment because he thought he could heal it ala’ Tom Cruise with his brilliant actor mind. Alec Baldwin who admits to worship Brando and followed in his footsteps by doing the role on Broadway Brando first made famous in A Streetcar Named Desire is also renowned for assaulting photographers, verbally abusing his daughter, and participated in an on-set shooting that led to the death of a female cinematographer. Dustin Hoffman who admits Brando was his earliest inspiration and up until a few years ago had as much of a squeaky-clean image as one can have was even accused of sexual harassment. Johnny Depp the highest ranking of the Brando coven seems to still be leading the charge in youthful Hollywood partying and reckless and abusive behavior even as he quickly approaches his 60’s. The truth is whether they or their fans like it or not these actors’ personal lives are much more dramatic and interesting than any of their films are. So, the question becomes not what happens to Johnny Depp’s career but what will happen in Johnny Depp’s life. Whether or not he continues to follow a trajectory similar to his idol Brando’s. Depp’s rock band The Hollywood Vampires originally takes its name from a drinking club consisting of a group of 1970’s rock stars led by Alice Cooper and Keith Moon. The mission of the original Hollywood Vampires was to drink until no one could stand up. However, only in a false reality can one continue that type of behavior and be okay. There is only so much partying and chewing of the celebrity scenery and of oneself a person can do. Even someone who is purportedly one of the Hollywood immortals. Eventually they all fall down, forever. The sobering fact is that Johnny Depp comes from Marlon Brando. Expect him to be allowed to continue to use and abuse women. Expect agony. Expect another generation to follow him. There will be blood.