Rugged features and a natural charm have worked for Josh Brolin, the son of actor James Brolin. He has recently seen a massive surge in his career, finding well-known roles such as a policeman, a hunter, and the President of the United States.
Born February 12, 1968, Brolin was initially against the lifestyle of the entertainment business, in light of his parents' divorce, and both of them being actors. However, he fell for theatre after playing a part in a school production of "A Streetcar named Desire". His first major screen role was as the older brother in the film The Goonies (1985), based on a story by Steven Spielberg. He then immediately moved on to work on television, taking roles in such series as Private Eye (1987) (TV) and "The Young Riders" (1989). "Private Eye" was a chance for Brolin to play a detective. "The Young Riders" was set just before the Civil War, and was co-directed by Brolin's father, James Brolin.
After "The Young Riders" (1989), Brolin moved back to the big screen, with mediocre success. He played a supporting role in The Road Killers (1994), but the film was not a hit. He followed up with the crime film Gang in Blue (1996) (TV), the romantic film Bed of Roses (1996), the thriller film Nightwatch (1997), and appeared with his father in My Brother's War (1997). However, nothing truly stuck out, especially not the box office flop The Mod Squad (1999). The 2000s initially brought no significant change in Brolin's career. He appeared in the independent film Slow Burn (2000), the sci-if thriller Hollow Man (2000) and starred in the television series "Mister Sterling" (2003). In 2004, he married actress Diane Lane and, as of now, are still together.
It was not until 2007 that Brolin received much acclaim for his films. He took a supporting role in the Quentin Tarantino-written Grindhouse (2007) which was a two-part film accounting two horror stories. He also played two policemen that year: a corrupt officer "Trupo" in the crime epic American Gangster (2007), and an honest police chief in the emotional drama In the Valley of Elah (2007) which starred Tommy Lee Jones and was directed by Paul Haggis. However, it was his involvement in No Country for Old Men (2007) that truly pushed him into the limelight.
The film, directed by the Coen brothers, was about a man (Brolin) who finds a satchel containing two million dollars in cash. He is pursued by an unstoppable assassin (Javier Bardem, who won an Oscar for his work) and his friend, a local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones). The film won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Brolin found high-profile work the next year, being cast as "Supervisor Dan White" in the film Milk (2008/I). His performance as the weak and bitter politician earned him an Oscar nomination, and Brolin received more praise for his fascinating portrayal of George W. Bush in the Oliver Stone film W. (2008/I). Despite the mediocre success of W. (2008/I), he was recognized as the best part of the film, and Milk (2008/I) was another triumph, critically and commercially.
Brolin then acted in the smaller comedy Women in Trouble (2009) before landing a number of large roles in 2010. The first of these was the film based on the comic book figure Jonah Hex (2010). The film was a box office flop and critically panned, but Brolin also forged a second collaboration with legendary director Oliver Stone for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). Brolin played a large role alongside such young stars as Carey Mulligan and Shia LaBeouf, and older thespians such as Michael Douglas, Eli Wallach, and Frank Langella. Brolin's character was "Bretton James", a top banker in the film, and also the film's chief antagonist. Brolin also appeared in Woody Allen's London-based film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) and a second collaboration with the Coen Brothers, which was a remake of True Grit (1969). In the works for 2011 is a sequel for Brolin, the third "Men in Black" film, which will have the original stars coming back.
Despite his earlier mediocre success and fame, Brolin has maintained a choosiness in his films and, recently, these choices have paid off profoundly. Hopefully, he continues this streak of good fortune that his talents have finally given him.
|Diane Lane||(15 August 2004 - present) (filed for divorce)|
|Alice Adair||(1988 - 1992) (divorced) 2 children|
Has frequently been cast in the role of an enforcer of the law
Has lived on a ranch in California with his significant other and their two children. He spent five years performing in and directing plays at the Reflections Festival at the GeVa Theater in Rochester, N.Y. Brolin said, "If I'm any kind of actor now it's because of Rochester." .
Son of actor James Brolin and Jane Cameron Agee (died 1995).
He won the 24th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, California in April 2000 22 years after his dad won the tournament. It took him just over 18 minutes to complete the course. He outshone 17 other celebrity and professional drivers including George Lucas, John Elway, and actresses Ashley Judd, Melissa Joan Hart, and Alyson Hannigan.
Announced engagement to girlfriend, actress Minnie Driver [April 2001].
Stepson of Barbra Streisand.
Ended engagement and relationship, with actress Minnie Driver [October 2001].
Attended the 2003 Golden Globes with Diane Lane.
July 2003: Engaged to actress Diane Lane.
Collects the art of Malcolm Liepke and Ernst Neizvestny.
Has son, Trevor Brolin, sketches all his characters before filming.
Has written various stories and poems based on his mother Jane Agee (who died in 1995).
He was co-executive director of Geva Theatre's "Reflections" (3 American plays in rotating repertory) from 1991 to 1995 with Anthony Zerbe.
Once aspired to be a chef.
Attended the Film Industry Workshops until the filming of The Goonies (1985), after which he went back for private coaching from Pat George and Tony Miller. His father, James Brolin, also attended the Film Industry Workshops.
When he's not working on films he enjoys racing cars and surfing.
In May 2006, two days after being cast in the film, No Country for Old Men (2007), he crashed his motorcycle into a vehicle on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles. Luckily he only shattered his collarbone and two weeks later he showed up to start filming.
Loves playing the stock market and is an avid day trader. He's so serious about playing Wall Street, he's got the trade station with three computer screens going simultaneously in his house in Los Angeles. He also co-created marketprobability.com, a website giving investors historical stock overviews.
Good friends with Javier Bardem.
One of 105 people invited to join AMPAS in 2008.
He was offered the part of Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation (2009), but turned the offer down.
Brolin was concerned what reception he would have on location in San Francisco for the production of Milk (2008/I) playing Dan White, the murderer of the city's famous gay politician, Harvey Milk. However, Brolin found he was warmly welcomed by the gay community for his participation in a film about their political hero.
Frequently co-stars with Marley Shelton.
Ex-stepson of Jan Smithers.
Was arrested for public intoxication on New Year's Day 2013 in Santa Monica, but no formal citation was issued [January 2, 2013].
(On "Mister Sterling" (2003)) I'm so glad that show didn't go, because it was more work then I ever wanna do again, and I love film.
(On his love of the stock market - 2007) I love the competitive part of stocks. A lot of fear and greed, that's all it is. All I see is green and red.
(On landing No Country for Old Men (2007)) The Coen Brothers didn't pitch the project to me, actually. I had read the book first without knowing that there was a movie being made. My agent actually called me and said they were making "No Country" and explained the script to me and said, "No, no. I read the book". She sent me a couple of scenes and then I said, "I can't get out of work". I was working with Robert Rodriguez on Grindhouse (2007) and Robert and Quentin Tarantino helped put me on tape as an audition tape and sent that to the Coens. They were smitten with the lighting and not so much for me. So that was a no. It was only through my agent, Michael Cooper, who is my good friend and a great agent. He's an old time agent; there are few and far between that actually care about their clients. He kept telling Ethan Coen, 'Just meet him. I'm not going to tell you he's the one but I'm going to tell you to just meet him'. I met them on what I found out later was their last casting call and then I got the part.
On playing George W. Bush: Why me? Why would I want to do this movie? "Why would I want to do this to my career?
[on portraying President George W. Bush] When [Oliver Stone] came to me, I was a little insulted. I had such a visceral reaction against it. But then I read the script and I thought it was amazing. I didn't love the story but as a character - following a guy from 21 to 58 - was an incredible challenge for an actor.
(On auditioning for "21 Jump Street" (1987)) I wanted any job at that point. They had fired the initial guy and auditioned three other guys, and it came down to Johnny Depp and me. The network wanted me, the producer wanted Johnny. He and I were at his apartment hanging out; our girlfriends were best friends at the time. Johnny had just finished a small part in Platoon (1986) and was talking about what it meant for him to work for this great director, Oliver Stone. The phone rings, it's Johnny's agent. He listens, hangs up, stuffs his clothes into his "Platoon" duffel and just walks out. The next time I saw him, I was doing a guest role on the fourth episode of "21 Jump Street" (1987).
(On his movie Thrashin' (1986)) I was so terrible in it. That was one of the movie experiences - along with Hollow Man (2000), a lot of years later - that made me question whether I should be doing something else. I don't want to watch myself in something like that. It's a travesty.
(On landing The Goonies (1985)) This agent started sending me out, but I was so bad, I was told I probably shouldn't do this and that just because my dad was an actor didn't mean I was going to make it. It was horrible. On probably the 300th interview, this thing happened with Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg.
(2010) I only took a high school acting class because there was no other class I wanted to take. I loved it, but I was always against acting as a profession. I didn't like the monetary fluctuations I saw.
(On his school years) I got picked on a lot. I was a complete geek in school. I had braces. I didn't have the hot girlfriend. I wasn't ever sought after. I was a stocky, awkward kid who got laughed off the tennis court when I tried that. Football? Forget it. I didn't have that thing inside me where I wanted to smash against somebody and watch them break. I was too sensitive for that and disliked being that sensitive.
(2010 - on doing romantic comedies) I wouldn't know how to do it. I don't like the genre, and comedies are not fun to do. Everybody on the set gets so serious trying to figure out how to make the timing and jokes right. Ryan Reynolds is one guy who I think nobody can do that better than, and he doesn't get any fucking credit for it. I went back to see him three times in The Proposal (2000). I'm so gay.
I'm a huge Donald Trump fan. I love who he is, what he's about. He's hated like any other celebrity is-like he's got the comb-over, he's an asshole, he's a capitalist, and capitalism is bad, right? I've met billionaires whose spirit is so dirty, their souls are so soot, shit and muck that it was mind-blowing to be in their presence. But that's not Donald Trump. People think I'm a left, left, left-leaning Democrat, but I'm a very conservative Democrat, more libertarian than anything.
(2010 - on getting into trading) I was always good with numbers. Around 2005 I had to sell the ranch, which was sad. I had done a little part in a Steven Spielberg miniseries called "Into the West" (2005) and met a real financial expert, Brett Markinson, on a plane trip, and we talked the whole time about stock trading. On his advice, I put some of the profit from the sale of the ranch into secured investments, apartments, and the rest, I traded. I read every book there was to read on the subject. I was willing to ask a million questions. Brett liked that I was willing to listen and that I knew he had something to offer as a great teacher. From 5:30 a.m. every day, I'd be pinging him, saying, "I'm looking at this graph. What do think about this stock?" He'd say, "Why would you pick that stock, you fucking moron?" and he'd explain things. Finally, something clicked. I realized that a majority of the experts, Brett expected, had no idea what they were doing and only followed the market trends. I found you can hit pretty much every time or you've overlooked something. It taught me absolute, total discipline. You have to be okay with wins and losses. You can't just be looking for the wins and, when the losses happen, you can't buy more and more because you're sure it's going to bounce. We call that revenge trading.
(2010) I remember saying no when a TV network wanted to give me a holding fee while it came up with another show for me. I got so much shit from my agent, everybody, including my family. Why are you turning this down? Who do you think you are? I'd just go off and hang out with my kids more or go do theater, which I liked but which didn't pay anything. I've heard "Who do you think you are?" so many times in my career for the sole reason that I just didn't want to do what somebody else thought I should do.
(On hosting "Saturday Night Live" (1975)) For years, I'd thought about that show - could I actually do it - but then you do it and realize everybody's up all night writing the thing and you're given 60 scripts. You sit around a table trying to be good, but the more you want to be good the worse you are. A great experience but really, really tough.
(On some film choices prior to No Country for Old Men (2007)) It was a whole fucking exhausting process to even get the parts I got. I had to fight to get this movie Into the Blue (2005) so Dean Cain wouldn't get it. "I'm Josh Brolin, man", but the studio was like, "Goonies was 20 years ago. We want Dean Cain". Nothing against Dean, a smart guy who knows a lot of people, but they wanted him instead of me because of what? So I get the movie, but the director didn't appreciate that I ask a lot of questions, that I want to try to tweak things, so it was, "Whatever, man, do whatever you're going to do. We should have gotten Dean Cain".
(1996, on landing Flirting with Disaster (1996)) I was living in New York at the time and hanging out with this guy in Los Angeles. I was helping him with his audition (for the part of "Tony" in Flirting with Disaster (1996)) and I ended up falling in love with the script and the character of "Tony" as well. To make a long story short - I ended up getting the part I was helping him get. Sorry to say I haven't seen him since.
(On the armpit licking scene in Flirting with Disaster (1996)) Okay, so Patricia (Patricia Arquette) and I, we had known each other sort of loosely before. Anyway, we were doing this scene the way the scene was written: We kissed and then Ben Stiller's character walks into the room and says, "What are you doing? How are you doing this?" But we saw it and it was boring. So I said, "Well, what if my character had a foot fetish? What if he was sucking on her big toe? He could be talking about her big toe and how beautiful big toes are and how beautiful feet are". But the director, David O. Russell, was like, "Uh . . . I don't know". So then Patricia said, "What about the armpit?" And David says, "Yeah, yeah, that's great". But I was like, "I don't know, man", because I'm thinking, I've got to lick the armpit. And Patricia goes, "Yeah, you could just lick my armpit", and she lifted her arm and, I guess because that's how she saw the character, she had grown out all her underarm hair. Then I had, like, a severe reaction. I said, "No! I don't like that idea. I really like the foot idea. Or maybe we could go with the small of her back. But the underarm thing, I don't think it's proper. It seems a little disgusting to me". Anyway, they were already on it, that it was working. So we shot it and I had to lick her armpit with the hair. Anyway, we saw the footage, and it was so disgusting that David said, "We can't have the hair. Patricia has to shave the hair". So what you see in the film is the third attempt at making that scene playable.
(2009) I have to tell you, you can't have an ego when you're an actor. A lot of actors have them, but in reality most of those people are just sensitive artists dying for a hug and a compliment.
(2009) I would fucking wrack my brain like crazy trying to figure out which films I wanted to be in. Is this going to be good? Is this the right filmmaker? What other actors are involved? Where does it shoot? I'd ask myself all these questions rather then follow my instincts. There shouldn't be so many factors. Decisions should be based on two things: great script, great director. Period.
[on his career, 2012] I like it right now, because I don't feel I've sold out. I feel good about the characters I'm playing and the movies I'm in. I've turned down a lot of 'event' films over the years. Money's neat, money's fun and when somebody's holding out their hands [full of cash], saying 'You want some? You want some?',there's a little bit of withdrawal when you say 'No'.
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