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This weekend, audiences will be able to watch Josh Brolin star in the brand new film from Joel and Ethan Coen… but that’s hardly a first-time event. The actor and the filmmakers first united during the making of the Best Picture-winning No Country For Old Men, and came back together a few years later for the new adaptation of True Grit. Clearly they work well together, but what could explain the reason why? Well, according to Brolin it all has to deal with their respective ability to exploit each other’s weaknesses.
I had the pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Josh Brolin earlier this week to discuss his role in the new film Hail, Caesar!, and it was during a discussion about his working relationship with the Coen brothers that the actor revealed his thoughts on the matter. I asked Brolin if developing a Coen-created character varies from how he works with other writer/directors, and he explained that every filmmaker is different, but also why he seems to get on so well with the siblings. Said Brolin,
I’m lucky because I’ve been friendly with these people too, but Joel and Ethan I can consider, probably Paul [Thomas Anderson] and Joel and Ethan, good friends. I like them. I like their awkwardness. I like their inability to socially interact most of the time, even though they’re getting much better at it, and I like being able to exploit their weaknesses. But they like they exploit mine too, and there’s an incredibly loving relationship there. But I just like who they are, and I trust them and for some reason, and they trust me - and I’m not sure why.
It’s a relationship that has worked out tremendously well, showcased by just how fantastic Josh Brolin is in every Coen brothers movie – playing wildly different characters each time out. Llewelyn Moss from No Country For Old Men is the stoic type – looking to get the job done with without fuss and a clean getaway; Tom Chaney from True Grit is much more dimwitted and id driven; and Eddie Mannix from Hail, Caesar! is a passionate man who understands the value of hard work and will do anything he can to make sure everything works as it should. All three performances are individually memorable and special, and apparently at least some of that has to do with the fact that the actor and directors are regularly exploiting each other behind the scenes.
Hail, Caesar! - featuring a great turn from Josh Brolin – is in theaters today, and with any luck it won’t be the last time we see the actor star in a Coen brothers film.