Sunday, July 18, 2004

Brando's last tango highly animated



By Anthony Breznican
The Associated Press

[photo]
Marlon Brando provides the voice for Mrs. Sour, the candy company owner, from the new animated comedy Big Bug Man.
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Marlon Brando started his screen career as a muscular leading man, and ended it as ... an elderly woman.

The actor's last role was a voice performance for the animated comedy Big Bug Man, about a candy factory worker (Brendan Fraser) who gets superpowers after insects bite him. The film is set for release in 2006.

Brando voices Mrs. Sour, the candy company's owner - and he did it wearing a blond wig and a dress, with full makeup and white gloves, according to writer/co-director Bob Bendetson.

"He was gorgeous," Bendetson said. "I guess it was part of his Method training or something, where you almost embarrass yourself as the character, so that way you're free to be the character."

As anyone who saw the 1976 Western The Missouri Breaks knows, it wasn't the first time Brando was in drag. His hired-gun character wore a pinafore and bonnet. Also, in 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau, Brando performed under layers of white Kabuki-style face paint.

"I think part of it was that he just liked to mess with people," Bendetson said. "He did like to be playful, but I think the other part was he thought this would just help his character."

Bendetson, formerly of The Simpsons, said he originally approached Brando for the role of a money-grubbing 600-pound man who runs the candy factory on the cheap.

It turned out to be an offer The Godfather star could refuse.

"I was told by his agent and manager that it was always a dream of his to play a woman in an animated movie," Bendetson said.




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