When his scheduled interviewer, Jeremy Renner, fails to show up at the last minute, Josh Brolin decides to flip the Actors on Actors script and showcase his resume, love of acting, insecurities and ego in a first for this franchise: Actors Over Actor. Here, the star of Amazon Studios-produced sci-fi western Outer Range questions his greatest artistic rival: himself.
JOSH BROLIN: OK. I am nervous. I’ve always been a huge fan and you have this new show Outer Range. I’ve seen the first two and it’s amazing. It makes you want better work. I wonder why you decided to do a series after 20 years.
JOSH BROLIN: Thanks man. I appreciate that. I was also a big fan of yours, but I haven’t seen much of your work. I saw The Goonies – you were so good in that movie. I did No Country for Old Men, which was a big turning point for me. Although people really associated me with western work, I hadn’t really done a lot of westerns. It’s been a while. I spoke to my agent and said, “I would really – I would love to look for something like this.” Have you done a western? No? They are great fun. If you could take a breath, that would be great. Just be who you are, which would make it a lot more comfortable for me to talk about this work because I’m an actor – I don’t like talking about my work that much. I like just being the job.
BROLIN: I’m sorry, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. It’s just that you respect someone the way I respect you. …Do you mind if I look you in the eye, or do you want me to look down? Well, that’s cool about Outer Range. What is it about working as an actor – do you feel like it’s a kind of therapy or is it fame that drives you? Is it the awards? How do you feel about all this stuff?
BROLIN: Wow. That’s a good question. We say we’re doing it for ourselves, but we’re really doing it for the fans. If it weren’t for the fans, I’d be doing dinner theater in Minnesota, and it’s not that the acting is any worse, but it’s just not something I’m particularly interested in. What’s fun is being scared of a role, but at the same time, there’s nothing quite like someone just sitting there and just handing you the goods. Being able to absorb people’s love is a big thing for me. And giving is wonderful. But taking is one of the better things in life. And when you do a feat like I’ve given here, I want to give it to myself, you know what I mean?
BROLIN: I know your daughter is an actress and does great on Yellowstone: do you ever feel like you have to compete with your kids?
BROLIN: I do, especially the 1 year olds and the 3 year olds. The fact that my older daughter is an actress, she’s already out of the house and doing her own thing. But my younger kids are really trying to take the spotlight from me right now, and it’s tough, you know? I take her to school, and if I’m walking down the street and someone says, “Hey man, I love your work,” it’s all worth it to me. But right now there was a lot, like, “Oh my god, what a cute little kid,” and I was like, “Hello?”
BROLIN: For me, the kids came first, you know, and acting came second. But, you know, I mean, to each their own. You’ve played these serious roles, but when Marvel came along, what was that when they said, “Do you want to play a 700-pound purple guy?” Was that for the kids?
BROLIN: Thanos, Thanos, Thanos. This was a huge undertaking for me. If you have my kind of gravitas, I understand why they’d say, “This guy might add some real weight to the purple guy,” but I didn’t get it at first. I’ve always described it as black box theater in New York in the 70’s or something. And what a lot of people don’t know is that they came to me for a cameo, you know? It was just a small thing in Infinity War and I blew everyone away so they ended up making two movies out of it. It was a top performance. We were so hoping to get nominated for that, but Marvel stuff isn’t really getting nominated right now. But if they had, I think we would have. Are you sleeping? Should I wake him up?
diversity Actors on Actors presented by Apple TV+.