Marlon Brando is back. And, from the looks of things, he's bigger than ever. In a familiar kind of role, Brando plays a mob chief in The Freshman, which has been shooting on New York's Lower East Side. The comedy also stars Matthew Broderick as a film student befriended by the courtly capo.

Nobody will say how much Brando is earning for The Freshman, but it has to be considerably more than the union scale he worked for in A Dry White Season (opening this fall), his first screen appearance in eight years.

His acting skills aren't all that Brando needs to get through this role; he also had to take ice-skating lessons. Observers reported that, despite his bulk, Brando was positively graceful on the ice. And, in another surprise, Brando has been delightful on the set, not just to fellow performers, but (an even bigger shock) to the paparazzi he once shunned.