The principals of “On the Waterfront” have faded to black: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, screenwriter Budd Schulberg and director Elia Kazan. All except Eva Marie Saint, still radiant at age 91.

For her role as Edie Doyle, which happened to mark her film debut, Saint won a best supporting actress Oscar. Before “Waterfront,” she had performed in radio, on television and in the theater, which is where director Elia Kazan noticed her, in the 1953 Broadway production of “The Trip to Bountiful.” Like Brando, Malden and Steiger, Saint had trained at the Actors Studio, which Kazan co-founded in 1947.

As part of the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival, Saint sat for an interview with TCM host Robert Osborne and recalled her time on the “Waterfront,” and her memories of Brando and Kazan. (The interview was recorded and turned into a TCM special, “Eva Marie Saint: Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival,” first aired in March 2014.)

Eva Marie Saint reviews her script on the set of "On the Waterfront."

Eva Marie Saint reviews her script on the set of “On the Waterfront.”

On the influence of The Actors Studio:

“We all worked the same way [due to our training at The Actors Studio], which is why I think ‘Waterfront’ was such a fine film.  The way Kazan worked, you were always rehearsing on set, so none of the actors were left to their own devices. We were always rehearsing in another room for the next scene up.”

About her apprehension before starting on “Waterfront”:

“I cried as I left the house. I didn’t know what to expect. My husband told me, ‘It’s Elia Kazan, Brando’s there, you’ll be fine.’ I was so nervous the first day. My first scene was up on the rooftop with the pigeons [with Brando]. Kazan told me, ‘This is the first time you are up there with a strange man on a rooftop. I want you to pretend there’s a wild animal that could come out at any time.’ “

Why Kazan was her favorite director:

“I never worked with another director like him. Kazan was very quiet, he would come up to you and whisper directions in your ear.”

On working with Brando:

“He was adorable — really adorable. But a little frightening. I felt that he could see right through me. He gave every line reading differently, so that it was always new. … Marlon was one of the finest actors we ever had.”

Why the glove scene with Brando was so sexy:

“I know, I know, I know! I could just see Marlon and hear him right now. It was a difficult scene. Why [would he notice] the girl from the waterfront? Why the girl from the convent, the Catholic school and all that? Why would she stand there? Well, in the rehearsal, I dropped my glove. Marlon picked up the glove, put it on his hand, started sort of fondling the glove, and it was very sensual. Edie had to get the glove, she had to go on her way, and so that sort of detained her. We told Kazan how it happened and he loved it, and so he said, ‘Keep it in.’ “

On Brando’s decline throughout his career:

“I don’t know what happened to Marlon. I think he lost — possibly, [because] I’m not a psychiatrist — the joy of acting.”

On her longevity:

“The longer you live, the smarter you get, because you’ve been around, you’ve seen things, you’ve gone through different emotional experiences in your own life, and hopefully, you understand things better. And that makes you a better actress.”

TOP: Eva Marie Saint speaks with TCM host Robert Osborne during the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival. | Photo: TCM/John Nowak