Marlon Brando Rejected an Oscar-Nominated Role in $31M Dustin Hoffman Film as He Was White

Marlon Brando turned down an Oscar-nominated role due to his ethics.

Marlon Brando Rejected an Oscar-Nominated Role in $31M Dustin Hoffman Film as He Was White

SUMMARY

  • Widely regarded as one of the finest Hollywood actors to date, Marlon Brando significantly changed the landscape of cinema with his method acting and natural humanist approach.
  • Having done with almost all genres of films, Brando was later sought for Arthur Penn's $31M western comedy Little Big Man.
  • Letting his work ethic guide him, Marlon Brando turned down the opportunity to appear in the role of a Native American, in Arthur Penn's 1970 western comedy.
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Hollywood has seen some finest actors since its inception. And Marlon Brando is certainly one of those veteran actors, who got hailed by fans and critics, worldwide. Not just for his prolific acting skills, but also for his work ethic, Brando became synonymous with perfection. 

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Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando

Bringing method acting to the big screen during the 1950s, followed by his natural humanist approach, Marlon Brando was sought for several acclaimed projects throughout his tenure. One of those renowned films was Arthur Penn’s 1970 western comedy Little Big Man. But unfortunately, Brando refused to play the role that later earned Chief Dan George an Oscar nod. 

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Also read: Marlon Brando ‘Literally’ Avoided Death by Refusing Extremely Racist Movie That Gave John Wayne Cancer

Marlon Brando Refused to Star in $31M Dustin Hoffman Film

Widely regarded as one of the finest Hollywood actors to date, Marlon Brando significantly changed the landscape of cinema with his method acting and natural humanist approach. Thereafter, Brando became a highly appreciated actor, worldwide, leading him to appear in acclaimed projects, throughout his tenure. 

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Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando was widely regarded as one of the finest Hollywood actors

Often taking on roles as Sicilian mafia crime bosses, Marlon Brando also appeared in sports drama, and superhero flicks and ventured across the great frontier during the golden era of Hollywood westerns. Having done almost all genres of films, Brando was later sought for Arthur Penn’s $31M western comedy Little Big Man.

Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man (1970)
Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man (1970)

Adapted from the novel written by Thomas Berger, with the same title, the movie narrated the story of an orphaned white boy, played by Dustin Hoffman, who was rescued and raised by indigenous people, the Cheyenne. Penn reached out to Marlon Brando with the role of the kind-hearted indigenous man – Old Lodge Skins. But the actor turned down the offer. 

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Also read: Oscar-Winning Actor Dustin Hoffman Accidentally Discovered Superbad Star Jonah Hill After His Prank Call Idea Went Out of Hand

Chief Dan George Received an Oscar Nod for Little Big Man

According to Far Out Magazine, Marlon Brando was concerned about the casting of characters in Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man. Given that the role of Old Lodge Skins deserved a Native American actor, Brando turned down the opportunity since he felt that he was “too white” for the role. 

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Marlon Brando owns private islands
Brando turned down the Oscar-nominated role of Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man

Letting his work ethic guide him, Marlon Brando turned down the opportunity to appear in Arthur Penn’s 1970 western comedy. Considering Old Lodge Skins impart indigenous teachings and wisdom throughout the story, the actor realized that his representation of a Native American on screen would be unjust.

Penn hired Chief Dan George for the role of Old Lodge Skin
Penn hired Chief Dan George for the role of Old Lodge Skins

Marlon Brando’s concern about the role not only proved his strict work ethic but also ended up persuading Arthur Penn to cast an actor of color for the role. Thus, Penn hired Chief Dan George, a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, in the role. Eventually, George went on to receive an Oscar nod for his performance, which was initially turned down by Brando.

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Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1000 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.