Brando picks his interviewers

GOOD MORNING: Marlon Brando sez he didn’t realize it but his contract with Random House for his autobiog includes a clause calling for him to do an interview(s?) for the book. “I don’t give any interviews,” Brando reminded — present company excluded. But he’s found the solution: “I’ll interview myself!” His idea is to conduct several interview sessions posing as: a male book interviewer, a female gossip columnist –“I’d get dressed up for the part”– the godfather, Truman Capote, “and by myself interviewing me!” He’d do it with split blue screen. The more Marlon laughingly described the “interviews,” the more he enjoyed his idea. He’s got some script blocked, but admits, “a lot of it will be improvised.” It could very well be a network or cable special, “Brando Talks to — Brando!” He admits, this is “a real happy time” for him and “for the rest of my life it will be fun time — none of that other bullshit.” He says the experience on “Don Juan De Marco and the Centerfold” was a pleasant time. Reports elsewhere of a suit by him against the company are bull, sezze. “They (New Line) were the best people — courteous, kind, generous, thoughtful and they weren’t just rubbing Vaseline on me!” He liked Jeremy Leven’s script and complimented the cast and exec producer Patrick Palmer. “He was tough but upfront.” Brando admitted his initial fears of the film. “I really dreaded it — making movies is not a church picnic”… His renewed enthusiasm for movies is evident in his plans for three pix he’s written. One, “Bull Boy” is, he says, a children’s story in which he’d be a gypsy king in the Portugal-set yarn. A second, “Tim and his Friends,” is about a man (Marlon) and his mastiff pooch. It would be a multi-character role that Brando described — complete with one Russian-accented player. He’s very funny!

“I’M DRIFTING TOWARD A CAREER CHANGE,” Richard Chamberlain told me as he’d left his surfing kayak on the beach at his home on the north shore of Oahu. Chamberlain sold his L.A. property and Hawaii is his sole, permanent home where, he says, “I’m going to be a painter and a beach bum in Hawaii.” Not so fast — he’s off to Sophia, Bulgaria (!) to co-star in Sneak Preview Prods.’ “Bird of Prey” with Jennifer Tilly and Lesley Ann Warren with Temistocles Lopez (“Chain of Desire”) directing. Chamberlain plays “a rich, evil guy in drug trafficking.” Why is he playing it? “They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he laughed. Ever since leaving the legit revival of “My Fair Lady,” Chamberlain (59) says he started planning the “career change.” But he’s also fascinated by the prospect of starring in the CBS mini “The Last Ship,” about the end of the world. And ABC’s mini “The Bourne Supremacy”– following his “Bourne Identity” outing. Doesn’t sound like much time for a painting and bumming future for Chamberlain … George Burns returns to showbiz Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the giant Foxwood casino in Connecticut. His speech has returned — but he’s walking about in slippers, nursing his big left toe, which underwent surgery last week. It hasn’t affected Burns’ bridge game … Eva Gabor, lunching Tuesday with A.C. Lyles at Paramount –“Where I went to school”– told me she heads to Las Vegas Monday to do a one-niter with Debbie Reynolds … Peter Marshall plays the lounge at the Desert Inn four weeks Sept. 20-Oct. 16 …”Candid Camera’s” coming back with Peter Funt , Allen’s son, who will host. This time they plan to take subjects — out of the front pages. Funt pere, who will be 80 Sept. 16, is retired at his Pebble Beach home. He’s mentally alert following last year’s stroke, but his speech is handicapped. Allen’s autobiog, “Candidly Allen Funt — A Million Smiles Later” (Barricade Books) is due out this month.

THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHICH TV SERIES TO TOAST –“Gilligan’s Island” or “The Brady Bunch” at Montreal’s Comedy Festival — so they bravo’d both shows, Sherwood Schwartz happily reports. “It’s very seldom the creator, writer, producer gets that kind of credit. It was a whole night of devotion,” he says proudly — now back here for the feature’d “The Brady Bunch,” filming at Par. He said he got “a million trivia questions” about the series from comics, clowns, comedy groups from five countries … E! Entertainment TV is expanding into the half-hour sitcom world. An untitled Taylor Negron starrer was written by the comedian, directed by Scott McVeigh and co-produced by Gary Socol and Deborah Allen Myers under the aegis of E!’s senior VP, programming, Fran Shea. They’re showing it to prospective production partners — nets, syndicators, station groups. It’s E!’s first original program shot on film out of their creative workshop environment …”Sunset Boulevard,” the Polydor/A&M two-CD and two-cassette recording, goes on sale Sept. 13, the day after the N.Y. box office opens for the Nov. 17 B’way bow.

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