Josh Brolin is a nerd. That may seem hard to believe about a handsome leading man type, but it's true. In an interview discussing his role in "Men In Black 3," Brolin geeked out while extolling the virtues of the original "Men In Black." Brolin spoke of the film with the kind of awe that only a truly dedicated fan of a movie could, as if the first "MIB" was a sacred part of film history and not merely another in a long line of Will Smith blockbusters.
It's not only "Men In Black," however, that demonstrates Brolin's nerd street cred. A diverse resume offers numerous examples of the actor's film geekiness.
Every film nerd has gone through an exploitation movie phase. Brolin leaped feet-first into the twisted world of the drive-in exploitation movie by co-starring in Robert Rodriguez's throwback "Planet Terror," half of the double-feature comprising "Grindhouse."
Brolin was delightfully crazed as an insane, abusive husband turned flesh eating zombie. The less than glorious supporting role demonstrated both Brolin's humility and his willingness to trade vanity for the chance to indulge his nerdiness.
The auteur phase
Part of being a nerd, especially a film nerd, is developing a taste for directors with a cult following. On that note, Brolin has quite an enviable film nerd resume.
Since 2007, Brolin has worked not only with Robert Rodriguez but also the Coen brothers ("No Country for Old Men," "True Grit"), Oliver Stone ("W.," Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"), Gus Van Sant ("Milk"), and Woody Allen ("You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger") -- a who's-who of film nerd directors.
Part of being a nerd is dedicating yourself to one very particular subject. Brolin's favored subject is the western. This soft spot for the genre emerged early on in his career, when Brolin played Wild Bill Hickok on the TV series "The Young Riders." He returned to the genre in 2005 with a small role in the epic western miniseries "Into the West."
And when Brolin finally earned his leading man status, he managed to combine a pair of nerd obsessions, westerns and comic books, by starring in "Jonah Hex." Sadly, this much-maligned comic book adaptation proved to be a setback in Brolin's career, but the failure didn't dampen his love for westerns; Brolin followed "Hex" with a supporting role in the Best Picture nominee "True Grit."
"Men In Black 3"
Maybe he was exaggerating or even just kidding, it's hard to say for sure, but Brolin claimed to have seen the original "Men In Black" "45 or 50 times." The star went on to call Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones "one of the great, iconic duos in movie history."
If that isn't the dedication of a true nerd, what is?
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