3Marlon Brando Hated That His Character in A Streetcar Named Desire Became a Sex Symbol
Before playing Vito Corleone, Colonel Kurtz, or a guy wearing an ice bucket as a hat, Marlon Brando became the defining actor of his generation thanks in great part to his role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Brando played Kowalski with an intensity rarely seen in a motion picture before, by which we mean that half the people in the audience had to change their undies by the time the movie was over. Sure, Kowalski is a coarse, arrogant prick with a hot temper that quickly turns violent, but Brando made him a sexy coarse, arrogant prick, etc., etc.
Before Brando, Hollywood's idea of sexy was a pencil mustache and a tap number.
Of course, not only was this never Brando's intention, but the idea of Kowalski as a sex symbol actually made him sick. He couldn't stand the character. Remember, this is the guy who sent a Native American woman to decline an Academy Award on his behalf to make a statement about racism in Hollywood. He was as dirty a hippie as they come, and felt so disconnected from Kowalski that, while preparing to play him in the original stage version of Streetcar, he had to shrug off his Method acting training and base his performance on other macho assholes he knew (and hated).
Pictured: An actor suited to playing a drunken woman puncher. Also, Marlon Brando.
As such, Brando was severely irritated by all the panties that were metaphorically being thrown at Kowalski. He saw him as less of a "sexy outlaw" and more of a worthless piece of shit. He talks about the character like he just stole his girlfriend, saying, "He had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate." Despite disliking the guy so much, Brando agreed to play him again in the film version of Streetcar, perhaps figuring "Maybe this time they'll get it." Instead, they gave him an Oscar nomination and turned him into a screen legend.
Even after getting Freaky Friday'd with Jabba the Hutt, Brando still couldn't shake off the (according to him, unwarranted) bad boy reputation that started with Stanley Kowalski. Think about it: The poor guy had to gain 200 pounds to escape his sex symbol status.
And it didn't even work.
2The Star of The Sound of Music Called It "The Sound of Mucus"
Fifty years and over a hundred film roles later, Christopher Plummer is still best known for his role as the strict-but-loving Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. This movie has it all: singing, dancing, and fighting Nazis (the magic formula). More importantly, it made and continues to make obscene amounts of money, and it catapulted Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer into instant and perpetual Hollywood stardom.
So everyone likes this damn film, but one person who wasn't so in love with the movie is Christopher Plummer himself. Plummer had mixed feelings from the get-go: He wanted to do a musical, and The Sound of Music sure as hell counts, but he thought Captain von Trapp was a giant bore. He was frustrated by the limitations of playing such a humorless character, asserting that trying to make him interesting was "like flogging a dead horse" -- actually, playing the horse probably would have been more exciting.
"Quit involving me in your personal shit, Chris."
For a long time, Plummer's contempt for the character festered and spread to the rest of the movie like an infection -- he called it "awful and sentimental and gooey." Plummer refers to it simply as "that movie," but sometimes he gets creative with it, getting all that suppressed humor out with nicknames such as "The Sound of Mucus" and "S&M."
20th Century Fox
If you weren't already picturing Captain von Trapp in a leather catsuit, you're welcome.
It was only years later that Plummer even bothered to watch the film (because he was forced to) and decided it was actually pretty good ... except for that insipid captain guy. It took 45 years and Oprah Winfrey to persuade Plummer to attend his first cast reunion in 2010, and even then he spent half the time slagging off his own character, saying it wasn't "human enough" and "sucked massive, sweaty donkey balls" (that part was edited out). Presumably he would have preferred it if Captain von Trapp had been the one spinning on the Alps in the intro, not Julie Andrews. Hey, maybe they can do that in the inevitable gritty remake with Michael Fassbender as the captain.