Josh Brolin Talks Thanos, His Relationship with Lady Death, More
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 08.07.2014
Brolin talks about signing on as Thanos…
So it is officially known that Josh Brolin is portraying the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of the Mad Titan, Thanos. Audiences got their first glimpse of Brolin as Thanos in the hit film, Guardians of the Galaxy. IGN recently interviewed the actor on the role, his thoughts on signing with Marvel, and what is in store for the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet. Below are some highlights.
Brolin on how he was approached for the role: "First and foremost, I have a really good friend who I've known for years who's the co-president of Marvel, Louis D'Esposito. I knew Louis as a first AD, and he's the one who initially called me, and then [producer] Jeremy Latcham. Then I talked to Kevin Feige, ultimately. But there's something about them that's so insular and so geeky and so real. I loved it -- because I've turned down a lot of those types of movies. Not Marvel, but I've turned down a lot of those types of movies. When they started telling me the story about them getting together in Palm Springs, nine of them flipping burgers and talking about what Thanos was going to do and going, 'What do you think?' like, 'Captain America's going to show up here!' Then, 'Oh my God, what if the Hulk came in at that point?' and all that -- I love that sh**. I love it, because those guys are absolutely saturated with that world, and they love story. Another thing that I really loved is, they said that they didn't use directors that did music videos and all that in the past. They would always look for people who had done stories. If you look at James Gunn's oeuvre, he's done even web series, but they're all stories."
Brolin on Thanos' relationship with Lady Death: "His relationship with Death, who is actually the woman, I love that. You can take Sin City [in which Brolin plays a man obsessed with a dark-hearted woman] and pump it full of steroids, and then you have Thanos. I like that he's motivated by that -- not just motivated by destruction or death or this or that. He's motivated by a very identifiable, human trait."
Brolin on signing up for a multi-film arc with Thanos: "Having done different series and all that, it's like doing the best series you could ever do. You know you're taken care of, you know the manifestations are good, you these people are at the top of their game. I've been involved in series where I couldn't wait to play a character and watch the character go through this trajectory, and then you would say, 'Why would you do that?' Like, you're doing that based on a model of what you think people want. 'Oh, we need a love interest now. Oh, we need this.' This is already set up, and it's set up brilliantly. It's like, 'Okay, now how are you going to utilize it in a way that's within Avengers, within Guardians, within that?' I don't know if there's anybody better than them [Marvel Studios]. They understand it. They live it. I can tell you live it too, and it's that kind of a thing. It's like, I'm catching up to you guys, and I love the idea of catching up to somebody. When I first said yes, they sent me so much frickin' research. I was in the middle of doing Everest, and I was focusing more on Thanos than I was on Everest.
"You know, there are movies that I've done where I feel like I have a better understanding before I even started than the filmmakers do," Brolin continued. "And that's disconcerting because they're the filmmakers. They're like, 'Well, what do you want to do?' It's like,'What do you mean what do I want to do? What do you want me to do?' We can go back and forth with it, and maybe I'll have my two cents over here and they go, 'Oh my God, that would be great. Even though that's not really a part of Thanos, it would be a great addition to Thanos, to make him even more Thanos,' or bring even more humanity to Thanos -- whatever it is. So I'm in the learning stages that is really exciting. When I first said yes, they sent me so much frickin' research. I was in the middle of doing Everest, and I was focusing more on Thanos than I was on Everest. But it's an exciting prospect, truly."
Brolin on how Marvel never trained or lectured him on keeping things under wraps or using secrecy: "I think they just assume. Because they took so long to confirm that I was doing it, that's just the feeling you get. I heard Kevin [Feige] up on stage at Comic-Con -- because I was backstage listening to him -- and I was like, 'This motherf***er is so smart.' He's so good. He's so smart -- and what a great thing. You want to know what I know. What better than to be reaching out for it, because that makes you want it. We have so little of that left. I was talking to Paul Thomas Anderson about Inherent Vice, and they're saying the studio wants to show the publicists and all that, and he was like, 'No, not yet,' because it's like, 'What is it? I want to know what it is.' You want people reaching out for it... It's fun for me, honestly, to see, because I didn't know the severity of it. It's severe. It's a big deal. I was talking to Robert [Downey Jr.] about it 20 minutes before [the Comic Con panel]. We've known each other for a long time, but it was a different conversation. He was just like, 'This is a whole different universe.'"