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Josh Brolin on Being Exposed in 'Labor Day' and Why Kate Winslet is a 'Truck Driver'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 30, 2014 at 10:37AM

Jason Reitman puts Josh Brolin's handsomely rugged features and deep well of vulnerability to powerful use in his latest "Labor Day," which opens this Friday following screenings at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals. (go here for Indiewire's glowing review).
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Labor Day

In many ways it sounds like you kind of went through what Kate Winslet’s suffers from in the film -- crippling insecurity.

Totally, which was good. I was just climbing in Switzerland recently and I did a couple of these things called Via Ferratta. At one point I was on a sheer 2,000 foot cliff and with one safety line, and I just thought if I fall and there’s gear failure I’m so fucked. Anyway, I’m getting to ready to do this mountaineering movie and I'm just fucking terrified beyond belief, like so much more scared than I’ve ever been my life, not even close, there’s no close second. And I’m thinking, I will never ever, ever do this again. I don’t want to do this movie, I’m done with this, this is not for me. And yet within 24 hours I couldn’t wait to do the mountain again! So it’s that kind of thing.

That’s how I felt with Jason, I felt totally exposed, I didn’t necessarily love the process of being exposed and then you see the result and you go, “I can’t wait to do another movie,” I want to explore this side more now.

Did you feel more exposed in this film than ever before?

Probably. Organically exposed yes. I think I’ve acted more exposed. I think I was organically more exposed in this for sure.

Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in "Labor Day"
Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in "Labor Day"

It's interesting to me to because I don't think about any of this shit until we start talking to you guys.

Really?

We talk about it but to act it is something else because then you're in your head and that's the opposite of what you want to do. You want to try and visualize everything and be organic and be intuitive and all that stuff.

Kate is remarkable in the film. What was it like sharing the screen with her?

Great. I always wanted to work with her. We've always wanted to work together. I don't think we would have done this movie had it not been us. I don't know if Jason would have done it because we waited a long time to make sure it was she and I. She's a force, man. She's just a reservoir of everything. She's got intellect. She has emotions that she can tap right into. You're going to say this about pretty much anybody because you're promoting a film. I mean, "How was Val Kilmer?" (laughs). "Val Kilmer has a reservoir of emotions." But with Kate it's not only apparent to me it's apparent to everybody.

She's a truck driver to me. She's like the mom that I grew up with. My mom's from Texas, she's a fun, fun, fun lady, a lot of personality and Kate has a ton of personality. I didn't expect that, by the way.

For her to have a big personality?

No. Not for her to have a personality, but to be willing to have so much fun. I heard her in interviews and stuff like that. I met her a couple of times and she had so much class and the English thing and all of that. I didn't expect the Kate that I worked with.

This article is related to: Josh Brolin, Labor Day, Jason Reitman, Interviews, Awards, Kate Winslet, Drama





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