“I don’t worship at the altar of Marlon Brando”: Christopher Reeve Didn’t Get Along With Superman Star in Iconic DC Film Because of His Lousy Work Ethic

"I don't worship at the altar of Marlon Brando": Christopher Reeve Didn’t Get Along With Superman Star in Iconic DC Film Because of His Lousy Work Ethic
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It isn’t a common occurrence for actors to openly weigh in on their co-stars when it comes to their shortcomings. However, Christopher Reeve wasn’t one to shy away from doing so. The Superman star had quite a bit to say about one such co-star, and this wasn’t just any other actor that he commented about. Christopher Reeve publicly opined about the legendary Marlon Brando, focusing on the events that took place during the shoot of Superman: The Movie, in which Brando played his father Jor-El.

Christopher Reever and Gae Exton spotted together at Spago's
Christopher Reever and Gae Exton at Spago’s

Reeve made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in March 1982 and was asked by the host whether “anything interesting” had come out of his relationship with Brando. Reeve, without any hesitancy, opened up about his experience, sharing an unpleasant thing or two about the Godfather star.

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Christopher Reeve opens up on being around Marlon Brando on the sets of Superman: The Movie

Christopher Reeve, during the episode of Late Night with David Letterman, revealed that he didn’t look up to Marlon Brando as he felt that the latter had “copped out in a certain way.” “He’s no longer in the leadership position that he could be,” Reeve said, while also revealing that Brando refused to learn his lines in advance and instead read them off of cue cards that were attached to his co-stars’ chests.

Christopher Reeve's Superman
Christopher Reeve in a still from Superman: The Movie

Reeve responded to host David Letterman’s question with the integrity and sincerity that Superman was known for, bringing about a refreshing candidness to the show.

“I must say — I don’t say this to be vicious — but I don’t worship at the altar of Marlon Brando because I feel that he’s copped out in a certain way. He’s no longer in the leadership position that he could be. He could really be inspiring a whole new generation of actors by continuing to work.”

He also riffed on how the reverence and love that the media and public had for Brando enabled the Apocalypse Now star’s behavior, while also expressing the disappointment he felt at the time.


“But what happened is the press loved him whether he was good, bad, or indifferent. Where people thought he was this sort of institution no matter what he did, so he doesn’t care anymore. And I just think it’d be sad to be [his age] and not give a damn. That’s all. I just think it’s too bad that the man has been kind of forced into that hostility.”

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Marlon Brando was difficult to work with and this wasn’t a one-off thing

Marlon Brando, despite his attractive screen presence and immense talent, turned out to be a difficult person to work with during the later years of his career. Pertaining to Superman: The Movie, Brando worked for about 2 weeks, appearing for a total of 20 minutes in the movie. Yet, he scored a $3.7 million payday and an 11.75% of the backend. He refused to reciprocate any of the courtesies that his co-stars extended to him and didn’t put even minimal effort into his role, making Reeve feel that he “didn’t care” much at all.

Marlon Brando during the later years of his career
Marlon Brando during the later years of his career

However, this wasn’t the only time that he proved to be a problematic actor. Francis Ford Coppola was another filmmaker who had to deal with Brando’s antics while working on the acclaimed film Apocalypse Now. Brando did the exact same thing that he did on the sets of Superman: The Movie and even halted production for an entire week, all while claiming that it was a part of his Method acting process, making some feel that he was apathetic.


Superman: The Movie is available on Prime Video.

Read more: Superman Star Marlon Brando Reportedly Had S&M Relationship With James Dean, Burned Cigarettes on Rebel Without a Cause Actor’s Body While He Begged to Be in His Bedroom

Source: /Film






Written by Arvind Rao

Articles Published: 5

Arvind Rao is a Content Writer at FandomWire. If binge-watching was a crime, he would be doing serious time.