Brando Had the Biggest Balls on the Set of ‘The Godfather’

The casts of both The Godfather films, (Yes, I said both, because there was no third one ever made. Ever.) met up at the Tribeca Film Festival for a dual screening and reunion. After the films director Francis Ford Coppola and stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro, all took the stage for a long discussion.

So, how tense was the on set drama? Well, Coppola was a broke director with little leverage, working a movie for a book he didn’t even like, who was so sure he would get fired, that his secretary gave him the advice to not quit outright but to wait and see just in case.

From Vanity Fair:

His secretary gave him the firing advice after the first time Coppola went to meet with Brando, another figure the studio wasn’t fond of. “I was told by the president [of Paramount] . . . ‘Brando will not appear in this picture, and I prohibit you from bringing up his name again,’” Coppola said. The actor eventually got the role after doing a screen test, taking a measly salary, and putting up a $1 million bond as insurance that he wouldn’t “cause trouble” during filming.

Some on-set stories were also shared about working with Marlon Brando.

“During the wedding scene, we all were mooning each other,” Duvall said. “Some woman turned to me said said, ‘Mr. Duvall, you’re fine.’ She turned to her friend and then said, ‘But did you catch the balls on that Brando?’”


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