Why Josh Brolin Is Terrified Of Shooting His Thanos Scenes

As Thanos, Josh Brolin is playing one of the scariest, most intimidating figures in the Marvel Universe. Even more than the fact that he is humungous physically and possesses incredible influence throughout the galaxy, the Mad Titan also eventually possess powers that give him the ability of a god. He inspires quite a good deal of fear wherever he goes – and weirdly enough that even extends to Josh Brolin, who has revealed that playing Thanos is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences he’s had in years.

Earlier today, I participated in a roundtable interview with Brolin (who is currently out promoting Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice), and during the conversation the actor explained that he’s extremely excited to be bringing Thanos to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that the performance capture technology required to get it done has left him somewhat at a disadvantage. Answering a question about his foray into the world of digital characters, Brolin said,

" I love the idea of Thanos. Ultimately, it's Thanos against everyone. Why wouldn't you do that? It's a strange thing. I was more nervous doing that than I've been for a long time. I was more nervous doing that than anything I've done in a long time. I was sitting in front of 32 cameras and my face was sprayed with iridescent paint and all that. It was very, very different, but I like it. It's fun. It's different."

It's not hard to see this situation from Brolin's perspective. I imagine in my head that the preparation for shooting a motion capture character - especially from the actor's description - looks a lot like something taken straight out of a science-fiction movie, and entering a new environment like that can be scary - especially when it's your job to create a character who exists on the exact opposite side of 'nervous' on the emotional spectrum. Still, one can easily imagine that someone on Brolin's talent level will be able to adjust and make it work going forward.

Josh Brolin made his debut as Thanos this past summer in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy - though his sequences in the movie were rather short. One featured the character merely sitting in a throne and berating the lead villain, Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) and the second was merely a projection of his face on the wall of a spaceship. Of course, that will be changing in a big way in the coming years. The big purple alien will be the main villain of both The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and The Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2, which are scheduled to come out in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Obviously those two movies are still more than a few years away, but that’s not doing anything to lessen Brolin’s anticipation for the future. He explained,

"When I saw what they did, that was exciting even though it was only a minute or two minutes. It was really exciting because of the possibilities that it could be come. Not as an idea or as a blockbuster but just as something different. It's a character mentality. That's just a different character, you know? It's fun. It's all fun, man."

Josh Brolin will next be seen in Inherent Vice, which arrives in theaters this Friday.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.