In Marlon Brando‘s 1994 memoir Songs My Mother Taught Me, the great actor remembers the time lusty force of nature Anna Magnani decided to go in for the kill.
“Without any encouragement from me,” relates Brando, “she started kissing me with great passion.
“I tried to be responsive because I knew she was worried about growing older and losing her beauty, and as a matter of kindness I felt I had to return her kisses.
“To refuse her would have been a terrible insult.
“But once she got her arms around me, she wouldn’t let go. If I started to pull away, she held on tight and bit my lip, which really hurt.
“With her teeth gnawing at my lower lip, the two of us locked in an embrace, I was reminded of one of those fatal mating rituals of insects that end when the female administers the coup de grace.
“I saw that she was in a frenzy, Attila the Hun in full attack.
“Finally the pain got so intense that I grabbed her nose and squeezed it as hard as I could, as if I were squeezing a lemon, to push her away.
“It startled her, and I made my escape.
By the way, the movie they were making together at the time describes just what Brando became as a result of this uncomfortable encounter: The Fugitive Kind.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2010