Josh Brolin (born February 12, 1968) is an American actor. He has acted in theater, film and television roles since 1985. He is known primarily for his film work. His first role was in the 1985 film The Goonies. He later went on to appear in the films Bed of Roses (1996), Mimic (1997), The Mod Squad (1999), Hollow Man (2000), and Into the Blue (2005). In 2007, he was in the segment: Planet Terror in the Robert Rodriguez film Grindhouse. That same year, he co-starred in the films In the Valley of Elah, No Country for Old Men and American Gangster.
In 2008, Brolin was cast as George W. Bush for the biopic film W.. The same year, he played Dan White in the film Milk. He played the title character in the 2010 film Jonah Hex and appeared in the films Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and True Grit, both also in 2010. Brolin was cast as the young version of Agent K in the 2012 film Men in Black 3. In 2013, he starred in the action crime film Gangster Squad and the romantic drama Labor Day.
In 2014, through voice acting and performance capture, he was cast, uncredited, as the villain Thanos in the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy. He also played Dwight McCarthy in the 2014 sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Brolin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Jane Cameron (Agee), a wildlife activist who was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas and actor James Brolin. Brolin was raised on a California ranch with little exposure to his father's acting career. His parents divorced when he was 16 years old. Barbra Streisand later became his stepmother. He became interested in acting after taking an improv acting class in high school.
Brolin explained in a 2014 interview that during his teenage years, he was a member of a surfing friendship group who called themselves the "Cito Rats." In his description of the group, Brolin stated, "It was Santa Barbara. It was the '80s. It was punk rock. You either had the children of rich, neglectful parents or children of poor, neglectful parents, so it was a mix. But we basically grew up the same way. I've never seen a group like that before or since." Brolin also admitted to stealing cars to pay for his drug use, which included heroin, a drug that he explained he did not like: "I mean, I never got into it and I never died from it, which is a good thing." The majority of the friends that Brolin grew up with died and the actor confirmed the total number of fatalities as 24.
Brolin started his career in TV movies and guest spots on TV shows before getting a more notable role as Brand Walsh in the Richard Donner-directed movie The Goonies (1985). He was considered for the role of Tom Hanson in the series 21 Jump Street; he and Johnny Depp were the finalists for the role, and at that time the two became close and remained friends even after the role was ultimately awarded to Depp. Brolin guest-starred in an episode of the show in its first season.
Brolin implied that he turned away from film acting for years after the premiere of his second film, Thrashin', where he witnessed what he called "horrendous" acting on his part. For several years, he appeared in stage roles in Rochester, New York, often alongside mentor and friend Anthony Zerbe. One of Brolin's more prominent roles early in his career was that of Wild Bill Hickok in the ABC western TV series The Young Riders, which lasted three seasons (1989–92). Two other TV series he was involved in include the Aaron Spelling production Winnetka Road (1994) and Mister Sterling (2003), both of which were cancelled after a few episodes.
Brolin's extensive film work consists of many villainous roles in late-2000s/early-2010s films, including Planet Terror (one of two feature-length segments of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse), Gus van Sant's Milk, American Gangster, and Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He also played the lead role in the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning film No Country for Old Men.
Brolin also starred in another Oliver Stone film in 2008 called W., a biopic about key events in the life of President George W. Bush. Stone pursued an initially hesitant Brolin for the role. He said of his decision to cast Brolin in the leading role:
Brolin received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Gus Van Sant's biopic Milk as city supervisor Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. He made news by wearing aWhite Knot to the Academy Awards ceremony to demonstrate solidarity with the marriage equality movement. Brolin told an interviewer that costar Sean Penn, who portrayed Milk, decided to dispel any nerves the actors had about playing gay men by grabbing the bull by the horns. At the first cast dinner, which included castmates James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna, Brolin said, "[Penn] walked right up and grabbed me and planted a huge one right on my lips." Brolin has received critical acclaim for his performance and, in addition to his Oscar nomination, received NYFCC and NBR Awards for Best Supporting Actor and a nomination for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
He portrayed Jonah Hex in the 2010 film of the same name.
Brolin also played the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones's character, Agent K, in Men in Black 3 released in May 2012. A year later, he starred in the film Gangster Squad portraying John O'Mara released in 2013 which was originally scheduled for release in September 2012.
Brolin was a top contender for the role of Batman in Zack Snyder's sequel to the 2013 film Man of Steel, but the role was given to Ben Affleck. Brolin voiced Marvelvillain Thanos in the superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy; he will reprise the role as the main villain Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2 (2018 & 2019) and various other Marvel productions.
Writing and directing
In 2009, Brolin executive produced and performed in The People Speak a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
Brolin wrote and directed the short film X, as his directorial debut. The film, about an inmate who escapes prison to reunite with his daughter and search for her murdered mother, was the opening film at the first annual Union City International Film Festival in Union City, New Jersey in December 2010.
Marriages and family
Brolin was married to actress Alice Adair from 1988 to 1994; they have two children, Trevor Mansur (born June 1988) and Eden (born 1994). He was engaged to actress Minnie Driver for six months. He had been married to actress Diane Lanesince August 15, 2004. Brolin and Lane filed for divorce in February 2013. The divorce was made official November 27, 2013.
On December 20, 2004, Brolin's then wife, Diane Lane, called the police after an altercation with Brolin, and he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Lane declined to press charges and the couple's spokesperson characterized the incident as a misunderstanding.
On July 12, 2008, Brolin was arrested, along with actor Jeffrey Wright and five other crew members of W., after an altercation at the Stray Cat Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana. Brolin was released after posting a cash bond of US$334. When talking of his arrest, Brolin said to a reporter, "It was nice to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong. And it was maddening to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong." Charges against all seven men were later dropped by Shreveport prosecutors.
Brolin was arrested for public intoxication on New Year's Day, 2013, in Santa Monica, US. The remainder of 2013 proved very difficult for Brolin and he later explained: "Well, it was another turning point. It made me think of a lot of things. My mum dying when I was in my 20s. All the impact that had on me that I hadn't moved past; I was always such a momma's boy. But I realized that I was on a destructive path. I knew that I had to change and mature."
Brolin commenced active stock trading in his mid 20s and briefly considered quitting acting. In 2014, he explained that he made a large amount of money over a three-year period: "Fear and greed, that's all that there is. And I traded very specifically. I found momentum stocks that had room to breathe and I just grab a little of the breath." He was also co-founder of the now defunct stock trading website MarketProbability.com.