Josh Brolin is scared to say how happy he is.
It’s not that he’s scared he’ll jinx it. It’s just that he knows that runs like the one he’s having don’t last.
“It’ll go away, and it’ll turn into something else,” he says.
“It” is four big releases so far this year, including the lead in a Coen brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel “No Country for Old Men.”
It has been 22 years since the son of actor James Brolin and Jane Cameron Agee came on the scene as the barbell-wielding older brother in “The Goonies.” A year like this has been 22 years in the making.
“I never wanted to be one of those guys who watches other actors and goes, ‘I could’ve done that.’ I didn’t want to be bitter, and I never felt bitter,” Josh Brolin says.
Brolin is on tour promoting “No Country,” and even if he’s afraid to say he’s happy, it’s there on his face. And in the way he gushes – about his co-stars, his directors, the reaction he’s getting.
And even the fact that he got the part.
The 39-year-old actor was shooting “Grindhouse” when he heard that Joel and Ethan Coen were planning to make the McCarthy novel, a haunting thriller about a man who stumbles onto a case full of drug money, the psychopath out to kill him and the sheriff tracking them both. (The demented murderer is played by Javier Bardem. Tommy Lee Jones, of course, is the cop.)
Brolin had read and relished the novel but was aware that, regardless of talent, he might not have the cachet to be a contender.
“I’ve been in that position a lot, where there’s a great part out there and because of monetary value from the business people’s point of view … I was not even a possibility,” Brolin says.
The Coens did look at his audition tape and were even impressed – but only by the quality of its lighting. His agent badgered the inventive filmmakers to at least meet with Brolin, and on the last casting session (mostly as a favor) they did.
Two days later, he was offered the part. Two days after that he got into a motorcycle accident and snapped his collarbone in half.
Luckily his character runs around grimacing from gunshot wounds for most of the movie.
In addition to “No Country” and “Grindhouse,” Brolin has shown up in supporting roles in this year’s “In the Valley of Elah” and “American Gangster.”
“I’ve been working,” Brolin says. “I’ve been able to put my kids through school. I’ve had a very nice life.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Oh, my God, Josh! I’m so happy for you. You deserve this. You’re amazing. I always knew you were amazing.’ And I’ll say, ‘Have you seen the films?’ and they say, ‘No, but I can’t wait to see the films,’ ” he laughs.
“And that’s just weird.”
The birthday bunch
Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 69. Movie director Martin Scorsese is 65. Actress Lauren Hutton is 64. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels is 63. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 63. Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 49. Entertainer RuPaul is 47. Actor Dylan Walsh (“Nip/Tuck”) is 44. Actress-model Daisy Fuentes is 41. Actress Leslie Bibb (“ER,” “Popular”) is 34.