Josh Brolin Said There Was ‘Nothing Cool’ About Shooting Thanos Scenes With Visual Effects
Josh Brolin is famous for his dynamic roles in numerous films such as No Country For Old Men and The Goonies, but he’s arguably most well known for his role of Thanos in Marvel’s Avengers franchise. Playing one of the most powerful supervillains in the Marvel cinematic universe, Brolin helped bring the Avengers storyline to a very entertaining conclusion.
However, as enjoyable as the movie-watching experience was for Marvel fans, the filming process wasn’t always so great for Brolin. In fact, when he first started working on Marvel films as Thanos, he didn’t like how awkward the process of creating visual effects was.
According to Brolin, the experience “never felt cool.” Thankfully, his attitude about the experience and his character changed over time.
Josh Brolin initially thought filming his Thanos scenes with visual effects was strange
Brolin shared his thoughts on the special effects creation process during a 2018 interview with Extra.
“So you’re on the set and you have dots on your face, and you have a velcro onesie on, and you’re walking around with boots that are just dopey,” Brolin said. “And you’re wearing, sometimes, a big chest piece for vicinity purposes, proximity purposes, and all this stuff. And it just—it never feels cool. There’s nothing cool about it.”
He had to wear a bunch of awkward objects to pull off the effects
In a more recent interview with the Team Deakins podcast, Brolin went into a bit more detail about the uncomfortable process. He regularly had to have hundreds of dots drawn onto his face, and wore large clunky, items all over his body.
“Very specified dots, 250 to 500 dots on my face to track my movement, specifically,” Brolin said. “And sometimes I would have … a chest sponge for proximity purposes. So when Hemsworth would be sitting there with an axe and he would touch me, I would—my arms are short anyway, so you’d just see little hands coming out. And yet, I’m doing the most dramatic dialogue that you can do.”
Filming Thanos scenes eventually became fun for Josh Brolin
Even though Brolin didn’t initially like having to wear so many uncomfortable things to shoot his scenes, his attitude eventually changed when he saw how realistic his character looked on playback.
“Suddenly, I’d have all this stuff on me, before we started shooting, dots and all that. I’d put my elbow on my knee and my hand up there and I’d scratch, and then they’d have the crude rendition of it,” Brolin said. “So, the more I watched that the more I realized, ‘Oh this is like a real guy. This is not a big purple guy, this is a guy with insides and cells and feelings.’ Then it became fun.”
Brolin ended up enjoying the process far more than he thought, noting that he loved hearing how well people received his performance.
“By the end … to me, this was like going and doing 1970s black box theater in Lower East Side, New York,” Brolin said. “You totally resort to your imagination … it is absolutely behavioral, if not more than most movies, and I think, at the end of the day, people reacted to Thanos—from what I heard—like a human being. Somebody who really existed, which is great.”