Brolin at "Times Talk"
242 West 41st Street
January 10, 2007
Photo Credit: Janet Mayer / PR Photos
Josh Brolin has had quite a
year. At a "TimesTalk" on January 10th,
as part of the New York Times' "Arts and
Leisure Week", the affable and low-profile
actor opened up about lying to directors, wardrobe
malfunctions, and his recent string of star turns.
When choosing jobs, he "doesn't like to do
the jobs [he'll] regret later," and in 2007,
he fortuitously chose four roles that have garnered
him acclaim from critics and audiences alike.
Josh Brolin in No
Country for Old Men
His best known role of the year
was as welder Llewelyn Moss in the Coen Brothers'
No Country for Old Men. Brolin first
became familiar with the story while sitting in
a bar with actor/playwright Sam Shepard, when
Shepard gave him the Cormac MacCarthy novel on
which the film was based. Shepard had heard that
the Coens were interested in a film version of
the book, and mused to Brolin that he hoped they
wouldn't "fuck it up." Not only did
Brolin end up starring in that adaptation, but
the picture has been hailed as the best film of
the year by several film critics' associations
and is a leading contender for Best Picture at
the Academy Awards. Brolin revealed that he never
anticipated No Country to be his breakout
role, and he talked about the experience of being
involved with the film, from working with attack
dogs to developing his character's laconic Texas
He started work
on Ridley Scott's American Gangster four
days after the wrap of No Country. In the
true-crime film, Brolin played an ultra-corrupt
detective opposite Denzel Washington and Russell
Crowe. Besides Scott, he worked with three other
prominent directors in 2007, and felt that what
they all had in common was that they "know
which take to pick."
Despite his ease
in slipping into such disparate characters, none
of the roles he played last year drew from any of
his own personal experiences. Although he grew up
working on a California ranch, his father is actor
James Brolin, and Josh knew he wanted to be an actor
from his teens. He discussed the reverse-nepotism
that hindered his early career, which took off when
he played the role of older brother Brand in The
Goonies (1985). Brolin professed that nowadays,
he cares much more about the work he does than how
he appears while doing it, an outlook that is evident
in his other 2007 film roles, as a menacing husband
in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror (part
of the Grindhouse double feature), and
as a schlubby police chief (opposite Charlize Theron)
in In the Valley of Elah.
Brolin also discussed
his passions for writing and directing, including
his latest short film, X, which stars his
own daughter. Some of his future projects include
developing the short into a full-length feature
film, as well as starring in Gus Van Sant's Milk,
the biopic of slain San Francisco politician Harvey
Milk, in which Brolin will play assassin Dan White.
Brolin seems to
be one of the lucky few stars not to have been ground
down by the gears of the Hollywood machine. He remains
positive and easygoing about the feasts and famines
of a long career in show business. He believes that
whenever a door closes, a window opens somewhere.
He credits his 2007 successes to "serendipity,"
and says, "Wherever there's a hole, it'll be
filled. With gold, or with shit, it'll get filled."