You’ve worked with the Coen Brothers numerous times now – Hail, Cesar!, No Country for Old Men – what makes you click with them?

Maybe the absurdity factor. I just really enjoy their sensibility, I get it. I don’t know why. You wouldn’t think, because we come from extremely different backgrounds, and charismatically we come from very different backgrounds. But I think, I just get it. What they chuckle at makes me chuckle. Even this new movie, Suburbicon, which we’re going to do for George [Clooney] which Jo and Ethan [Coen] wrote, he called me and asked if I’d be interested in doing a few scenes and I already knew it was a yes, because I knew it was written by Jo and Ethan. But then I read it and I’m laughing out loud, and it’s not very often you laugh out loud at their stuff. Also, there’s almost a mentorship in our relationship because they see in me the ability to play things, so they trust me to find my way through a role, that I wouldn’t necessarily pick for myself. No Country, maybe not, but True Grit, we came up with something a little different for that. And with Hail, Cesar! we came up with something different. It’s fun to create with them. I feel like all of us are on the ground with a lot of play-doh.

Read the full interview, here.


02/05/2016 I wanted to ask you about the research you did about the man your character was based on. He’s been on screen before in Hollywoodland. What did you learn about him?

Josh Brolin: I did a lot! And the thing was, what I found out, what the Coens had written was not necessarily a parallel to who Eddie Mannix really was. He was more of an amalgamation. There’s a great book called “The Fixer,” which became like a bible to me during that movie. I love that book. It kind of reveals all the incredibly debaucherous acts [laughs] going on back then that seemed so much more severe than what has been going on now, with the exception of obviously some drug overdoses and that kind of stuff. It seems like it’s getting less and less. But the Eddie Mannix I play is more like Thalberg, Mayer, Mannix and Strickland who was a pr guy who the real Eddie shared a lot of his responsibilities with. It was really Strickland who dealt with the Hedda Hoppers and the rag mags and all that. So this guy is a very faith-driven guy, where the real Eddie Mannix wasn’t necessarily – the real Eddie Mannix was extremely brutal. He was the head of security for Nick Schenck at an amusement part in New Jersey and then he brought him over – you know, it was supposed to be Metro Goldwyn Schenck, which would have been horrible! [laughs] Metro Goldwyn Mayer is what it became but Nick Schenck had a part of the ownership of it. So once you start to learn all that, it’s great, but then you start going to different stories and ideas and that. I actually really like this character and the real Eddie Mannix was somebody I was a little turned off by.

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Josh Brolin answers the phone with a whisper.


I laugh and ask if we’re going to do the entire interview in a whisper. “I just want to make things as creepy as possible,” Brolin chuckles.

Brolin’s unusual greeting wasn’t creepy, but it certainly was a surprise — something the actor has become particularly good at delivering onscreen. After years working as (in his his words) a “blue-collar actor,” his career got a major boost from the Coen brothers’ cast him in their Oscar-winning thriller No Country For Old Men. Although No Country made Brolin a movie star, he’s continued to make unpredictable choices, starring in films as diverse as W. (where he gave an impressively nuanced performance as the 43rd President of the United States), Milk (which earned him his first Oscar nomination), and Inherent Vice (just watch this). In between, he even makes appearances as Thanos, the ultimate bad guy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (after several cameos, he’ll play a major role in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018).

Brolin reunited with the Coens for their remake of True Grit, and now they’re back together again for Hail, Caesar! a hilarious comedy about 1950s Hollywood. Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, an executive at Capitol Pictures, a major studio with several major problems that need fixing. Chief among them: Capitol’s biggest star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) has been kidnapped, and a mysterious group known as “The Future” wants $100,000 for his safe return.

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Josh talks The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter with The New York Times.
You can read the full interview here.
They also had a great new photo of him:

“I should warn you,” Josh Brolin said, calling from North Carolina. “I’ve just come out of the woods after three and a half months, and I’m a little crazy.”

He was in Asheville, working on “The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter,” his first project since “Hail, Caesar!,” Ethan and Joel Coen’s new satire of the 1950s Hollywood studio system. But the weather had stalled shooting, and Mr. Brolin had exited the Blue Ridge Mountains like a slab of feral Americana: 40 extra pounds of what he called bear weight packed on his rugged handsomeness.

“‘The Revenant’ is such a crock” he said, using some colorful language and adding, “compared to what we’re going through — I heard they had hot tubs on the set!” Arriving in October, he hiked woods and swam rivers while temperatures dropped into the low single digits.

“I deserve the Oscar,” he laughed. “I deserve five of them.”

That day may come. Mr. Brolin, who turns 48 on Feb. 12, already has an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Dan White, a former San Francisco city supervisor who assassinated the gay rights activist Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, in “Milk” (2008).

It arrived — a kind of clarion call — near the end of a 20-year dry spell during which Mr. Brolin lived in a state of perpetual panic, never knowing when or if the next project would come along.

“I never experienced for many, many, many, many years what it was like to have another job while you had a job,” he said. “People would ask, ‘What are you doing after this?’ I always hated when that question came to me.”