Marlon Brando: Some Grand Purpose

Photograph by Serge Balkin/1948

Interview with the Author
By Telephone

The greatest mistake in the world, I think, is to simply look for a means--any available or convenient means--to be occupied. I want to believe in the majesty of all men and women; I want to believe that there is a purpose--some grand purpose was intended--when we were conceived and as we grew up under the guidance of something cosmic, whether you call it God or karma or circumstance or the shifting of the stars. I have found that the happiest people believe in some sort of pattern to our lives, and I have found that the most miserable people are those who settle for a life, a profession, or a mate that satisfies the desires or the caprices of others, or that simply fills the accounts and the cupboards.

We are all guilty of this. I'm guilty of this. When I realized how far I had fallen from the goals that I had once believed in so strongly--and that had been taught to me by Stella [Adler]--I retreated. I found an island and I went to it and I tried to get away from the hungers that had gained control over me.

And I then placed so high a price on my time because it was, I saw, the most valuable thing I had, the rarest of things. Time. Invest in that, if you're smart.

Too many people are content to get by, to wait and to see what might happen. These are dying people. Sad people. If I were a better man, a wiser man, a younger man, I would go out and try to get these people to believe in things again; to fight the easy way, the sad way, and really do something with their talents and their loves and their lives.

I think--I have to believe--that we were placed here for some grand purpose.

© 2013 James Grissom
From Artistic Suicide


Popular Posts