When it comes to casting actors, Marvel have a tried and tested gameplan: either get them when they’re still in the fledgling stages of when their career or they’ve been around for a while, but they just haven’t had that breakout role yet. With an Oscar nomination, a bunch of other awards and having a very well known name, Josh Brolin was definitely none of those things. But when you’re casting Thanos, the purple jawed big bad that has been pulling the strings behind the scenes in your entire movie universe, then you have to set your sights a little higher.
Although Brolin has dabbled with comic book movies before (Men In Black 3 and, unfortunately, Jonah Hex), playing a 7-ft tall CG alien with a thing for golden armour and floaty chairs is not in his usual wheelhouse, so how did he land the gig? Well, as the actor recently revealed during a press junket for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice (via Collider), it pretty much came down to that old faithful tenet of “it’s about who you know”.
“It’s different man, it’s just different. I don’t have a thing like, “I only do small art films” or “I only do this.” I just read a story and go, “wow. That’s cool.” It’s not, “I want to get into this genre or that genre.” So Thanos came along… and I had a good friend Louis D’Esposito who used to be a first AD and is now the co-president of Marvel, and he and I used to train together. We did Hollow Man together. He called me up and started talking about this thing. It was nice because I could intimately talk to him about it. What I liked. What I didn’t like about the whole idea of it. But I love the idea of Thanos.”
Brolin also went on to explain a bit about the process he went through to motion-capturing the performance for Thanos, which was even intimidating for an actor of his caliber.
“I was more nervous doing that than I think I’ve been in long time. I was in front of thirty-two little cameras and I had a face sprayed with iridescent paint. It’s really exciting, the possibilities of what it could become.”
And what possibilities would those be that would make all that effort worth it? Well, Brolin teased a bit of what we’ll see in The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 & 2.
“Ultimately it’s Thanos against everyone. So why wouldn’t you do that?”
Everyone? That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 & 2 will be out on May 2018 and May 2019 respectively.
Last Updated: December 9, 2014