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Hollywood’s Biggest Oddballs: 5 Brilliantly Eccentric Movie Stars

Steve Palace
Vincent Price in Scream and Scream Again (1970)(Photo by FilmPublicityArchive / United Archives via Getty Images)

Here are some of the world’s most eccentric movie stars. It comes as no surprise to hear that movie stars are eccentric by nature. And often they’re as attention-grabbing as the people being played on screen… more so in fact! Check out these classic eccentric movie stars who take extraordinary behavior to a whole new level…

Marlon Brando

The King of the method actors was far from grounded in reality, at least according to certain reports. Brando was serious about acting, but maybe a little too serious. Stories of him blasting screenplays he didn’t like with a gun give a new meaning to the term “shooting script”!

1996’s ‘The Island of Dr Moreau’ saw him using an eccentric technique to remember his dialogue. Co-star David Thewlis “recalls that Brando would receive his lines via earpiece, which was prone to picking up police frequencies; at one point, he’s alleged to have recited the line: ‘There’s been a robbery at Woolworths’.” (Yahoo Movies)

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando as ‘Johnny Strabler’. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Brando famously suggested Superman’s father Jor-El could be either a suitcase or a bagel on camera. Though it’s said this was less an offbeat idea, and more an attempt to cut down the workload…!

Crispin Glover

Glover is well known for his role as George McFly in ‘Back To The Future’ (1985). However he was replaced for the sequel, after reportedly expressing doubts over the movie’s happy ending. Time in the story is changed, turning meek and mild George into a wealthy success story.

In an interview with AV Club, the eccentric star recalls telling director Robert Zemeckis: “I said, ‘I think if the characters have money, if our characters are rich, it’s a bad message. That reward should not be in there.’ People love the movie, and of course who am I to say… But Robert Zemeckis got really angry… He was p*****.”

Crispin Glover

Crispin Glover in 2012. Photo by David Shankbone CC by 3.0

He had more creative influence with the part of assassin the Thin Man in Charlie’s Angels (2000). Thanks to Glover, his character became silent. The macabre detail of tearing out people’s hair was also the actor’s bizarre invention!

Tilda Swinton

This great character actress has appeared in everything from art house films to big Marvel Studios blockbusters. Eccentric characters she’s played include Orlando (1992), Virginia Woolf’s androgynous, immortal heroine and the creepy Minister Mason in Snowpiercer (2013). So what’s she like off camera?

Happy to explore her artistic side off set, she went to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. This wasn’t a day trip however. She’d gone there to sleep… in a glass box! It was of course a performance, though not something you see people doing as a rule of thumb!

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton. Photo by Yannick JAMOT CC by 3.0

Her childhood had a Roald Dahl vibe, if a Guardian interview is anything to go by! Of her then baby brother she said “I was going to kill him because he was a boy, naturally, and I already had two brothers, and that was just too much to bear.” Incredibly her intended target had just endangered his own life swallowing a ribbon. 4 year old Tilda extracted it and saved him instead…!

Vincent Price

When he wasn’t busy dodging daggers in his classic horror pictures, actor Vincent Price liked nothing better than wielding a knife over a cake or other delicious object. For the fright king was also a foodie. Furthermore, he published cookbooks with his wife Mary.

That passion didn’t end at the bookshelf. “In the six-part 1971 Thames TV series Cooking Price-Wise,” writes the Vincent Price Legacy UK website, “Vincent invited viewers to ‘travel round the word using your cooker instead of a jet plane’, and shared his experiences of international cuisine”.

Vincent Price

Price in the trailer for the film Laura (1944)

Price was master of the unexpected. In 1974 he lived up to that reputation onscreen when making ‘Percy’s Progress’, a comedy about a penis transplant! The much loved horror icon was a man with many strings to his bow.

Bill Murray

There’s only one Bill Murray, and that’s just the way his fans and the world likes it. Many famous people are reluctant to get involved in the affairs of so-called regular folks. Not Murray. In fact he actively seeks out places to drop by, surprising admirers and onlookers alike!

Bill Murray Caddyshack

Bill Murray eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the film ‘Caddyshack’, 1980. (Photo by Orion Pictures/Getty Images)

From house parties to music gigs, Murray seems to just rock up and hang out. He’s a true Hollywood eccentric, in that he manages to be both a screen legend and a dedicated mingler. So many anecdotes are out there, but one in particular is worth highlighting.

As described by NME, Murray was “spotted riding a children’s bike through branches of Wal-Mart on several occasions, most notably at a store in Southfield, Michigan in 2006.” An observer noted he wore “an obviously heavily used firefighter’s uniform, complete with oxygen tank”.

Related Article: 5 Ferocious Hollywood Feuds that have Achieved Mythical Status

If anyone can pull off that singular look, it’s got to be Bill Murray.