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Marlon Brando Clashes with Frank Oz

Associated Press, July 8, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) - Marlon Brando's off-screen antics during filming of The Score were high drama.

Brando would refuse to come to the set if director Frank Oz was present, leaving co-star Robert DeNiro to direct one of Brando's scenes. Oz watched from an offsite monitor and sent instructions to DeNiro via an assistant director, Time magazine reported in its July 16 issue.

When they were in the same room, Brando called Oz "Miss Piggy," and at one point said, ``I bet you wish I was a puppet so you could ... make me do what you want," Time reported.

As a young puppeteer, Oz provided the voice for Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show.

The film stars Brando as an elderly gay crook orchestrating the biggest heist of his career; DeNiro as a thief ready for retirement and Edward Norton as an aspiring young thug.

The 77-year-old Brando earned about $3 million for three weeks of work, Time reported. DeNiro, 57, signed on first for $15 million. And Norton, 31, joined the cast to act alongside two legends.

"I always imagined my first drama would be lower budget, maybe $15 million,'' said Oz, 57. ``I could get really dark and dirty with actors who were unknown.''

The film cost nearly $70 million.

Flatbroke's Note

Director Oz has repeatedly denied the accounts that have stated that Brando refused to let him direct, opting instead for De Niro. I'm surprised that his account of the filming is absent from this story. Take a look at Settling the Score stories for the most recent comments from Oz. Also take a look at the Time magazine article How To Make A Score

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