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Steven Spielberg and the time a naked Marlon Brando pranked him

Naked from the waist up, at least

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Even the biggest names in Hollywood aren’t immune to a little hazing — just ask Steven Spielberg.

During a recent backlot tour of Universal Studios, Spielberg’s longtime home base, the acclaimed director told EW’s Anthony Breznican about his early days on the lot as an unofficial intern, including a memorable encounter with a showbiz icon.

Sent one day to retrieve a bin of 16 mm film from an editing room, a young Spielberg eagerly complied because “suddenly somebody’s asking me to do something,” he said. “So I ran into the room and there was some guy half-naked behind the Moviola. I don’t know if he was dressed below the waist; he was totally stark naked from the waist up, and he was cutting on this thing.”

If that wasn’t enough, Spielberg met some resistance trying to execute his mission. “I took the bin out of the room, and the guy stands up and starts shouting at me, using a lot of inappropriate language. And I immediately recognized him: It was Marlon Brando.”

Making a hasty exit — without the bin, of course — Spielberg found the editors who’d sent him “on the floor” with laughter.

“They kind of, I guess, punked me,” he said. “Early punking days.”

Watch the video at the top of the post to learn what Brando was editing, and see EW’s full interview with Spielberg above.