The Best Acting Advice Steven Spielberg Gave Josh Brolin

By Jennifer Muscato | Published

Josh Brolin comes from a Hollywood family, but has made a big name for himself. He’s been acting for four decades, and it all really started with 1985’s classic adventure comedy The Goonies. Film icon Steven Spielberg developed the story and produced it, and now, Brolin is revealing Spielberg told the young actor to “just act” and focus on portraying what was in the moment.

Spielberg Told Brolin Not To Overcomplicate Things

Josh Brolin tells GQ, at the time, he was reading Stanislavsky and had started looking deeper into the potential symbolism behind the tunnels in the film, even comparing them to his mother’s womb and his character scratching to get out, needing to be born again.

“And he looked at me, and he goes, ‘Just act.’ And I was like, ‘I know, but-‘ And he wasn’t being rude, he was just like, ‘Don’t overcomplicate it. Just get in there, look around, listen to people, and just do your deal.'”

The Goonies

goonies 2

Josh Brolin goes on to say The Goonies was a “great” experience. After six auditions, he landed the sought-after role of Brandon Walsh, the big brother to Mikey Walsh, played by Sean Astin. Other iconic child actors in the film include Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton and Ke Huy Quan. Quan was already a star at the time, having been in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, also directed by Steven Spielberg.

The Goonies made $63.9 million in the United States and Canada, putting it among the top 10 highest-grossing films of 1985. It raked in $60.6 million overseas for a worldwide gross of $125 million.

1985 was a crazy successful year for Steven Spielberg. Besides The Goonies, he was an executive producer on 1985’s Back to the Future, and that same year, the director came out with The Color Purple.

Brolin And Spielberg’s Career After The Goonies

After The Goonies, Josh Brolin did a lot of television. A film career started blooming and really hit a stride thanks to 2007’s No Country for Old Men. For that, he went home with a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. He then earned an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for 2008’s Milk.

If you’re wondering about Steven Spielberg, he has three Oscar wins. Two for Schindler’s List and one for Saving Private Ryan. He’s up for one this year for Maestro, which he produced.

Josh Brolin Is An MCU Icon

As for Josh Brolin, he has gone on to become a part of both Marvel Studios and DC. He took on the role of Thanos in the MCU and Jonah Hex for DC. It’s clear he’s made a path for himself, stepping out of the shadow of his famous father James Brolin.

The Pair Reunited For SNL

saturday night live

And if you are wondering if Josh Brolin and Steven Spielberg ever teamed up again … they did. About 10 years ago, they appeared on SNL together in one of Andy Samberg’s famous digital shorts “Laser Cats 7”. For their collaboration this time around, no pirates or tunnels, and way more laser cats.