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‘Russian Doll’ Star Natasha Lyonne Says Marlon Brando Helped Her See Hollywood for What It Was

”In that moment, showbiz was A-OK,“ Lyonne said of an unreleased scene from the 2001 film ”Scary Movie 2“ that called for Brando to grab her boob

In an alternate, perhaps better, universe, a version of 2001’s “Scary Movie 2” exists that depicts silver-screen icon Marlon Brando in a cameo role, playing opposite Natasha Lyonne’s demon-possessed character. In the unreleased scene, which the “Russian Doll” star credited as making her think that “showbiz is all right,” Brando’s character performs an exorcism while clutching her boob.

Let’s backtrack: The second installment of the horror spoof franchise features a cold open of Lyonne paying a humorous homage to the role Linda Blair originated in 1973’s “The Exorcist.” She acts opposite longtime Conan O’Brien writer Andy Richter and James Woods (“Ghosts of Mississippi”), who portray the priests trying to exorcize her.

Well, initially, Woods’ role was supposed to be played by Brando, who eventually dropped out of filming as a result of health issues. 

“I have a VHS copy of the dailies that I got because Marlon Brando’s final role — sadly for him, but luckily for me — is doing this ‘Exorcist’ opening teaser. I don’t know what he was thinking, really. I mean, why would he do that?” Lyonne recalled with a laugh while sharing the details in an interview with Entertainment Weekly

Lyonne likened it to a “surrealist” experience, and described “The Godfather” star as “very chatty” on set. “He had an oxygen tank and he just kind of held my boob because that was in the script. He was supposed to be like, ‘The power of Christ compels you.’ I just remember being like, ‘Ah, this is the surrealism that André Breton, Salvador Dali were talking about.'”

The “Orange Is the New Black” alumna continued, describing the wild scene they played out.

“So, I had Brando with the earpiece and the hand on the boob, and the makeup, and ‘The power of Christ compels you,’ and not to curse, but, ‘Your mother sucks c—s in hell,’ and so on. This was all happening at once, and I remember like, ‘You know, showbiz is all right.’ In that moment, showbiz was A-OK.”

While Lyonne described Woods’ replacement of Brando as “a little weird,” she said Richter and she “still do bits about it.”

“So, all told, a fine experience,” she concluded.

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