Josh Brolin on Jonah Hex
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Josh Brolin showed up at San Diego Comic Con to show footage of Jonah Hex and talk about his portrayal of the comic book character. You can’t expect a hip Hollywood actor to read all the comic books, but he knows what he’s doing.
Josh Brolin is Jonah Hex
“I didn’t read a lot of comic books as a kid,” Brolin admitted. “I read a lot of Ray Bradbury that was my thing, so there's a similarity there and I appreciated it very much when I got into it. I loved the fact that he was an antihero. I loved that it wasn’t an extremely successful comic book. There were three different manifestations of the comic book, but I loved the fact, like the character himself, it refuses to go away. There's a great survivalist element to this guy, and the comic book itself so I like the fact that he's an antihero, I like the fact that there's not another comic book character like him and that, like I said in the panel, there's no model to base a film on him on, so we were really starting from scratch and got to create what we wanted to create with the blessing of those guys.”
Also, his director was a huge comic book fan, so he had that to bounce off of. “Then when I met Jimmy [Hayward], Jimmy had a 1st edition of Jonah Hex that he brought, which I thought was really kind of funny and loved me in Thrashin’, a skateboard movie that nobody saw. So it fit within the bizarre nature of this film. It was a perfect match.”
What does Jonah Hex have in common with W you might ask? Yeah, we hadn’t thought of that either. “I did a couple prosthetics in Louisiana in the summer also for W. and we had some problems with it. Basically how it worked was a piece of tape on my cheek and also a piece of tape behind this ear and then we fastened that to the back of my neck and I had a prosthetic over that. Then I had a mouthpiece that held my mouth all the way back as far as it could go and then I had another prosthetic over that and then we painted all to make it look even. It was a horror story in itself. 3 hours of makeup per day. We figured out the end, with 46 shooting days, that I spent 5 ½ full days in the makeup chair, 24 hours a day. It’s great for the first five days. Then after that it starts to gets a little old.”
Without specific comic book references, here’s how Brolin approached Hex. “I don't know how to describe my character, I really don't because in the comic book he's this alcoholic curmudgeon-y kind of guy. You know, he's a bounty hunter, kind of goes from place to place just trying to get through the day. Not in the comic book, but from my perspective he's loosely based on this guy Col. Seaver, who existed back in Civil War times who is stabbed and shot forty-some odd times and grew to a nice ripe age before he died, but it's a hybrid of a lot of different people. This is one of those movies that before the day we shot I didn't really know what I was going to do, you know the voice and the this, and how do we go about this, what's going to work? So it sort of developed as we were shooting and everything seemed to do that, the whole story and script, were rewriting while we were doing it. It was a very tough shoot. Luckily I didn’t have a ton of dialogue so it was okay. It was challenging as a movie, as an actor, figuring out what it is as you’re doing it but I like how it turned out. I think we got very, very lucky in what we've come up with and seeing what we have now, I think we were extremely fortunate given what we had to work with.”
Jonah Hex opens to theaters on August 6th, 2010.
For the poster and more movie info, go to the Jonah Hex Movie Page.
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros
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