Capote’s profile of Marlon Brando is framed by an evening in a Kyoto hotel when Brando was filming on location. Aside from Peter-Selleresque racisms, the tone is beautifully judged and captures Brando’s character as skilfully as Brando mimicked others.
Both vain and self-aware, Capote’s Brando is a broken-nosed Buddha ‘sitting on a pile of candy’ (Brando’s phrase for his celebrity). Interesting on Brando’s relationship with James Dean, Brando’s family, and the needy people surrounding a star, this is a deeply researched piece about someone whose life seemed ‘a part he was weary of portraying yet was trapped in by contract’.
Related recommendation: Kenneth Tynan’s ‘Miles Apart’ (1961)
Origin: United States
Themes: Artistic Method, Vocation and Celebrity, Manners and Conversation
Genres: Profile or character