There’s an art to interviewing celebrities. When to push harder. When to let them retreat. When to let them ramble. When to interrupt. No one knows that better than Larry Grobel. Over the course of his career, he’s written for Playboy, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and dozens of other publications, coaxing secrets out of some of the more famous men and women in the world.
He’s written bestselling books on Truman Capote, Marlon Brando and many others. He’s also sat down with damn near every single celebrity you could think of. From former First Lady Nancy Reagan to ex-Indiana University coach Bob Knight to Jesse Ventura, he’s poked and prodded the most fascinating people in the world for decades.
Recently, he was kind enough to talk with CINEMABLEND ahead of his upcoming Book Soup appearance and share some of the crazier moments from his long career. From walking out of interviews to befriending celebrities to witnessing breakdowns, he has a story on almost any subject. When you deal with eccentrics and the professionally insane for a living, you very rarely punch in and punch out without fanfare. So, we’ve gone ahead and compiled 3 of the most interesting stories he told us.
That Time He Stared At Marlon Brando In SilenceIt’s been more than a decade since Marlon Brando passed, and it’s been many many decades since the ferocious actor was at the height of his powers. These days, people forget what an intimidating force he was, but even during the late 1970s when Grobel spent ten days with the actor on his private island, he was a stubborn, almost unmovable force of nature. Early on in the first of many sessions, Brando rambled about the power of silence before saying…
"What you’re really having in silence is a full, more meaningful confrontation."
The two men stared at each other in silence. Fifteen or twenty minutes passed without a word. Grobel thought about bailing, about heading back home and telling Playboy Brando refused to talk, or more accurately, that he refused to back down. Mercifully, the actor eventually stood up, said, "Well, that was refreshing, let's go eat." They started recording the next day.