This has been the year of Josh Brolin. He first appeared as the formidable Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War in April, followed by Cable in Deadpool 2 in May. Next up is Sicario 2: Soldado.
The movie is the sequel to the 2015 Sicario, and sees Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and Jeffrey Donovan reprising their roles. This film follows the same vein as its predecessor, telling the story of the raging drug war at the border of U.S. and Mexico.
It focuses on the attempt by the United States government to provoke the already hostile conflict among the cartels.
At 50, Brolin shows no sign of slowing down. The bully in The Goonies (1985) has come a long way to be a Hollywood star in his own right. Rightfully, Brolin should be Hollywood royalty, after all, his dad is James Brolin, star of countless movies and TV series and his step-mother is songstress Barbara Streisand.
But Brolin wasn’t brought up under the bright lights in Hollywood, but at a ranch in Paso Robles, with hardly any money. Instead of getting to go to award shows and celebrity parties, he hung out with gangs who did drugs.
He moved to Venice at 17 and started to go for auditions, and eventually landing the part of Brand in the iconic movie- The Goonies. After a few bit parts, his career stalled in his 20s.
It took the 2007 movie No Country for Old Men to put him back on Hollywood radar. He was then nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2008 Oscars for his role in Milk, a biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). After that, the roles started rolling in.
As the big, bad guy Thanos, Brolin basically finds himself in a warehouse for a year, standing in front of a green screen with a prosthetic chest, looking like a T.Rex with his “short” arms sticking out.
Meanwhile, his face and body were all covered in tiny dots, which allowed for his movements and facial expressions (there were 100 to 150 dots on his face alone!) to be recorded so that the CGI folks could work their magic and map out Thanos’s eventual face. Which is really Brolin’s, but bigger, meaner and purplish.
While it was hard work getting Thanos from Brolin to a hulking 8-foot character, the tougher role was still ahead for him. As Cable in Deadpool 2, he couldn’t hide behind special effects or a mask so that stunt doubles could take over. To prep for the role, Brolin spent an arduous 12 weeks in the gym, and the result showed in the movie.
But looking the part is only half of it. He had to handle the constant beatings on set too. Co-star Ryan Reynolds shared, “We’d be talking after these violent fight scenes, like, ‘Oh my God, everything hurts.’ It was like behind the scenes at Cocoon. I’m lucky. I’m in a mask. For some of the really intense stunts, my stunt guy is in there. Whereas Josh had to go do that stuff himself.”
After Sicario 2: Soldado, Brolin isn’t taking a breather, he’s already signed up to play Cable in three more movie outings. At 50, Brolin’s career is just beginning, and he worked hard for it.
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