If Josh Brolin is one thing, it’s not lazy.
“For some reason, I’m an idiot, and I just keep working. I like to work. I like to keep myself going and challenged. It feels good,” Brolin told the Fresno Bee in a recent interview. “I don’t know why some people don’t like to work that much. There’s a whole acting thing now where you do a movie and then you wait two, three years and then do another movie. Back in the day — in the ’40s — people did five, six movies in a year. That was the deal. You didn’t have a choice if you worked for the studio because they would put you right into another film. So, I think I’ve found some happy medium that works for me.”
That happy medium has him starring in three films set for release in 2013, starting with Gangster Squad. It is based on the true story of a handful of cops who in the late 1940s waged a battle with organized crime to keep the mob from taking over L.A.. Brolin plays Sgt. John O’Mara, the leader of the secret task force.
Brolin says he didn’t watch old gangster movies as part of the research. In those films, everyone talks with a crisp — almost stilted — cadence, and Gangster Squad is more contemporary. Also, those movies are dark, the opposite of the look of Brolin’s new movie.
“I think the film has a very colorful palette. I think it looks very rich. Usually when you have films like that, like L.A. Confidential, they usually are desaturated. There’s a milkiness they put into it to make it look more authentic, and I don’t think that was attempted on this movie, and I’m glad it wasn’t attempted,” Brolin says.
His pre-filming work schedule also included getting together with castmates, including Ryan Gosling and Giovanni Ribisi. This gave them a chance to get comfortable together and to go over the dialogue. There was a lot of ad libbing in the movie, but in Brolin’s case his dialogue was cut down to give his character a more quiet power.
“You don’t want to mess with this guy, but you want him on your side. He’s willing to think outside the box. He’s unwilling to be bought. There’s something dangerous about him, and he’s willing to do whatever he has to to accomplish what he’s set out to do,” Brolin says.
But life isn’t all work and no play. Brolin was arrested Jan. 1 for public intoxication in Santa Monica. On Wednesday, while a guest on Good Morning America, Brolin joked about his four-hour stint in jail before being released on $250 bail.
“I’m the one guy who’s out there, and they go, ‘Hey, there’s Josh. Let’s grab him.’ You know, it was New Year’s. It was a pretty innocent thing. It was a fun thing.”