Hope Floats: Josh Brolin

Until recently, he says, he was thinking of quitting acting, before a night of Scorsese and De Niro helped change his mind. It sounds like the kind of reawakening we’d all appreciate for a new year — and if anyone can pull us along with him, it’s Josh Brolin. Interview by Tom Chamberlin.

The story goes something like this: there is a boy who floats, and his father thinks it’s wonderful until he sees how it frightens other people, so he weighs his son down with rocks in a rucksack in order to stop the gesticulations, derision and judgment. The boy escapes from his encumbered bag and floats in a playground, whereupon his father admonishes him for not being normal and the boy cries a solitary tear.

It was at this point of the retelling of the Pixar short film Float — three hours into an hour-long interview — that Josh Brolin and I both began to weep. It reminded me of my twin brother’s best-man speech on my wedding day. It was a verbal peregrination jam-packed with wit, laughter and light teasing until he turned it on a penny with a single line, and all the guests simultaneously began to tear up — except my Edwardian father, who hasn’t cried since England won the 1981 Ashes series.

Published

December 2020

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