Josh Brolin: Why acting is humiliating

Josh Brolin says acting is like being 'embarrassed for a living' (Credit: Rex)

Josh Brolin says his job is akin to being “embarrassed for a living”, describing acting as a “profession of humiliation.” The No Country for Old Men star, who met with Zack Snyder about playing Batman, a role later offered to Ben Affleck, tells Yahoo that he is always uncomfortable as an actor, and has finally figured out that that’s OK.
 
“I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable,” he laughs. “But everything about acting is humiliating.”

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Brolin next stars in Jason Reitman’s ‘Labor Day', in which he plays an escaped convict who hides out in the house of an agoraphobic woman (Kate Winslet) and her young son (Gattlin Griffith). Over the course of the film he falls for Winslet’s Adele. He says kissing her on screen was fine, because the pair got on and he was attracted to her, but admits this isn’t always the case. “I’ve been in situations where the person doesn’t really like you and then you’re kissing them and being romantic. The crew knows you guys don’t get along, and your friends on the crew are joking about it. That’s the reality of moviemaking.”
 
 He adds that humilation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “I actually like it. When things are comfortable, they’re usually not that good. You need sparks in movies.”
 

Not every co-star is hard to get along with, like Winslet and the star of his upcoming film 'Inherent Vice'. “More than any woman I’ve ever worked with, I absolutely fell in love with Joaquin Phoenix,” he admits of his time on the project, which is being directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. “Joaquin is the most wonderful human being and actor.”
 
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He cites Anderson’s as an example of a situation in which humiliation breeds quality. “Joaquin and I would do these scenes together and Paul would say, ‘This time do it with the table upside down, and you guys get under the table and I’m going to put a blanket over you, and I want you to whisper your lines. And now this time, no lines and no dialogue at all, and I want you to just dance your dialogue. Whatever that next line is, I want you to create a movement that’s going to be what that line of dialogue was going to be if you spoke it.’
 
“It was just craziness, you know, but really fun. After that, we’d go back to the scene and it would be fed by all those other things that you can create something magical. But you have to do some pretty weird things.”
 
‘Labor Day’ is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below: