The Mad Titan Speaks

Avengers: Infinity War’s Josh Brolin shares his own take on Thanos, his favorite MCU films, and being part of the Marvel family


So much has been said about Avengers: Infinity War’s big villain, Thanos. But who is he really and what makes him the Avengers’ biggest challenge yet?


Thanos will stop at nothing to obtain all the Infinity Stones. Says Josh Brolin of his character’s mission to collect the Stones: “He’s going for all power, under the auspices of trying to fix the universe. He’s trying to balance the cosmos, and by doing that, he’s having to destroy a lot of things. It’s an interesting character. He is somebody that won’t stop until he has what he wants.


“You’re being reminded that he does have a heart, and you can be empathetic toward him. Then suddenly you realize that he’s the worst villain that’s ever existed because he’s willing to go to any lengths in order to accomplish his vision. There’s something else that’s feeding him and doing this, and what’s fun in the movie is trying to figure out what that is.”


A collaboration


To give life onscreen to Thanos, Brolin was given a lot of leeway to play the character — a fact that surprised him. “I thought that given that this is a Marvel movie, given that this is storyboarded in such a major way and so intricately and so specifically, that I just thought it would be the way it was,” says Brolin. “It wasn’t like that at all. They would come in, and they’d say, ‘This is the general sketch of it. What would you like to do?’”


One of the biggest things he wanted was to inject Thanos with complexities. “I think that there was a natural vulnerability that I felt that the Russos also saw and then we started to take advantage of this dichotomous nature of what a bad guy is. So I think we found some colors, not just because of me. The Russos are great at it,” says Brolin.


Favorite films


Like most of his costars, Brolin is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and is quick to share his most favorite MCU films.


Iron Man is one of my favorites,” shares Brolin. “With Robert [Downey Jr.] playing Tony Stark, there’s no better marriage of character and actor. He just gets it, and it all spring boards from that. So that was always a favorite of mine from being a great appreciator and cheerleader of Robert.”


Another favorite of Brolin’s is the more recent Captain America: Civil War. “There’s a lot of friction, and yet there are all these relationships that you have the history of. I was always trying to guess what he was going to do,” he says.


Brolin also enjoyed last year’s Thor: Ragnarok. “I think Chris Hemsworth is great and, obviously, Mark Ruffalo,” he shares. “That was a good movie and really fun. It was a great hybrid of humor and really fun acting. Cate Blanchett has always been like a favorite of mine. So she was great to watch. Everybody was great.”


Coming home


The joy of working with people he admires has been a highlight of Brolin’s MCU experience so far. “It’s going to sound so lame, but every time I come back here, it always feels like I’m coming home,” he says. “I’ve never felt a crew so married to each other. It’s truly familial here. It’s a family.”


Avengers: Infinity War is now playing in Philippine cinemas.