Josh Brolin and Will Smith first appeared together on screen in Barry Sonnenfeld’s 2012 science fiction action comedy, Men in Black 3 in the franchise is based on the Marvel Comics series of a similar name. While Smith appeared in all the movies in the trilogy, Brolin was cast to play the younger version of the Tommy Lee Jones’ character Agent K in the third installment.
Brolin’s getting into the film has quite an interesting story. The actor revealed that he was hanging out with Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld and the Coen brothers at a bar one night. Amidst the bar talk and fun time together, the actor did a Tommy Lee Jones impression. Years later, Sonnenfeld would remember Brolin’s impression and cast him when it came to the importance of younger Agent K in the third Man in Black.
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Josh Brolin’s Experience Working With Will Smith, In Men in Black 3
Being called out for the role of younger Agent K would, as Josh Brolin thought in the beginning, be fun to play. He recalled when the director approached him, “Barry was like, ‘Hey, Brolin! You want to be in Men In Black? It’s fun,’” Brolin told the Independent.
“And I was like, ‘Yeah, I love Men In Black. But as what? Like, Agent Q or Agent Whatever?’ And Barry said, ‘No, to play young Tommy! Remember, you did that impression for me?’”
But soon he realized working with Will Smith in the film was like an “insane asylum.” However, the chemistry between the actors on screen helped him ease his mind. Brolin has been in the industry for quite a long time knowing the importance of building onscreen chemistry despite differences with co-actors.
“You can act it. I remember acting with an actor I didn’t like so much. He said ‘I feel like you don’t like me’ and I said ‘I don’t have to like you, I can act it!’ Which wasn’t a nice thing to say but the truth of the matter was I hadn’t met Will before I said yes to this,” Brolin once told LRM Online.
Brolin further described that he had a hard time adjusting himself in the set. He had no idea how his co-actor Smith and the director would behave. He said that it was similar to going into an insane asylum.
“It’s sort of the first time you meet Will he’s like ‘Heeey!’ And you’re like wow, you’re serious? We’re waiting for rehearsal, try this voice and talk about it, whatever. He’s like ‘M.I.B.!’ But at the same time it’s just funny. It’s like going to an insane asylum,” Brolin said.
“Will doing that and then you have Barry going ‘Oh my God this is so great!’ and he’s telling stories about his mother calling him when he’s at Madison Square Garden when he’s 16. I’m like these people are crazy, I thought I was crazy but these people are nuts.”
Brolin admitted that he was rude to Smith but certainly, they had a different way of life.
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Josh Brolin Almost Quit Men in Black 3
Recalling the bad impression, Brolin later admitted that the road to playing the character was not easy and fun as he previously thought.
“There’s one thing about being out at a bar with Barry and doing stupid impressions of Tommy Lee Jones with the Coens, and then there’s another thing where somebody’s telling you to do a movie that’s going to be screening all over the planet,” Brolin said.
Being on the set, Brolin felt immediate pressure to impersonate Jones’ traits in the character.
“I went down to Mexico, got totally frustrated, wanted to quit and wanted to call Sony and say ‘You’re going to waste your money doing this’ and all of the actor stuff that people go through. Then you start to go ‘Oh my God, that’s one thing that sounds good,’” The Avengers: Endgame actor said.
Amidst his doubt about the role, the hardest part he recalled was, imitating Jones’ speech patterns established in the previous movies in the franchise.
“I think the tough thing about Tommy is that there’s no like — with [George Bush] the U’s will be alike, or the vowels will be alike. Tommy’s all over. It’s like he’s improvising his voice and it’s still cultivating into something we won’t know until later. So it’s like an instrument that’s been played by nobody that somebody says not only can you learn how to play this but make an album in two months that everybody will hear,” Brolin said.
Brolin eventually landed on the film playing the role in the $654.2 million movie which was made on a budget of $215 million.
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Source: Showbiz CheatSheet.