Sunday, 20 March 2016

Marlon Brando (SLE): Personality Type Analysis

Marlon Brando, Jr. is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, even as having 'revolutionised' acting with his breakthrough role, Stanley Kowalski in the original theatrical production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

Despite stating repeatedly that acting was a 'craft' but not an 'art', Brando belonged to the school of acting where you emotionally 'become' the character - which is one manifestation of E and T. Yet, Brando said he found acting on stage enormously draining, precisely because of the toll it took on his emotions (whereas most actors feel energized by that). He said the same about his work in 'The Last Tango in Paris'. This suggests that E was a quadra value but not as a ego function (so E5 or E6) - yet, in person, he had easy personal charm and charisma (E6 more likely).

Brando was known as a 'bad boy' in movie sets when he felt his star power allowed him to overrule directors and behave as he pleased, most notably in "Mutiny of the Bounty" which led to him being sort of "blacklisted" in Hollywood. Yet, realizing his power had waned, he behaved perfectly well when filming "The Godfather".

The above points to an understanding, even mastery, of F, higher than that of E (suggests F1).

In his later career, Brando alternated between purely mercenary roles where he was paid a fortune for a few days' work ('Superman', 'Apocalypse Now', 'The Formula') and roles which he did almost for free if they matched his political views ('Roots', 'A Dry White Season'). He also sought a higher meaning in his life by going into political activism, as in for Native Americans, but such efforts were clumsy and hesitant, as if he didn't really know what he wanted to do (suggests T5).

Although a charming, charismatic and intelligent man, Brando had problems with stable long-term relationships, also with his own children (suggests R4).

Brando's functional ordering seems to fit F1, E6, T5, R4 most obviously, pointing strongly to SLE.

Recommended reading and sources: Brando's memoir, "Songs My Mother Taught Me". not only provide the basic facts of his life but also give a glimpse into his thinking. His views on acting and political activism are expressed in most of his in-depth interviews available online.

To learn more about SLE, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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