Last Wednesday at Warner Bros, the New York Film Academy was honored to host the talented actor, Josh Brolin, following a screening of the Coen brother’s No Country for Old Men. In addition to the Coen brothers, Josh has worked with major directors, like Gus Van Sant, Robert Rodriguez, and Oliver Stone. His filmography includes a slew of successful films, like W., Milk, True Grit, and don’t forget his first film, The Goonies. Josh admits going on about 300 auditions before landing The Goonies.
Producer Tova Laiter moderated the guest speaker event, and it wasn’t before long until we noticed how smart, funny, and humble Josh was. He told a number of entertaining stories about his long and successful acting career, including his recollection of his first audition for No Country. While on location for Grindhouse, Josh did a taped audition that was shot and directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The only initial reaction from the Coens’ was,”Great lighting.” Then, months later, his agent landed him a second audition. On a mere three hours of sleep, Josh stopped in a Boot Barn to buy a cowboy hat, which he rubbed on the ground to get dirty. Perhaps it was the rugged cowboy hat that sold the Coen brothers, but we’re sure Josh’s talent had something to do with it.
Josh offered some words of advice for the aspiring actors in the audience, “When accepting or preparing for a role, fear is the motivating factor. Do it because you love it, not just for the success or the ego. It’s nice to see when people like acting.”
Josh also stressed that identification by an audience is key. “I’m glad when movies or roles I play touch other people. I’m fascinated by what makes people tick and I love the psychology of acting. Every movie is a dark tunnel, and you are just looking for the light.” When preparing for his famed role in Oliver Stone´s W., Josh worked on Alexander Technique and even sought dialect coaches. “Oliver Stone saw it in me before I did – that I could pull that role off.”
In addition to his film work, Josh has a special appreciation for the theater and literature. “Theater taught me a lot. I love prep, research, and putting stuff together – even more so than the actual acting.”