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Interview: Josh Brolin

By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 6, 2007

What was your hang time?
I would imagine a good four seconds. One, two, three, four. I was in the air for about four seconds. I was in the air for a long time, man. I hit — I heard the snap. I was starting to go into shock at that point. They wanted me to apologize to the woman, which I didn’t really understand. I just wanted to fight. The whole thing was fucking weird. The driver said it was my fault! You’ve got to be insane! How could it be my fault? I was going in a straight line and you turned in front of me.

Actually, this might have been good preparation for your role, because the film is kind of like trying to cheat death.
[Pause] Right.

You know, with the Javier Bardem character as death. What? You’ve got this, like, glum look on your face.
No, no, I agree with you. I haven’t heard that one, actually. Cheat death. Yeah, I think that’s good.

So you drew on that experience for your character?
Not in the least.

The Coen brothers show most of the violence off screen in this movie. Meanwhile, you just came from [Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s] Grindhouse, where the violence is in your face.
Yeah, but it’s so gratuitous and ridiculous in Grindhouse. And that was the point — it’s an homage to that kind of ridiculous Bozo the Clown violence. This is much more Hitchcockian. You look back and you think you’ve seen something with so much more violence than you actually have. The violence is unnerving and painful and awful; it’s not empowering in any way.

Some of the key moments are off screen.
Well, that’s the way it happens. I think that’s why this is unique, because it happens like it really happens. My mother hit a tree; she was just dead. One moment I was talking to her and the next minute I could never talk to her again. I have never seen that in film before, where it just happens. That’s it — everything changes.

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