Josh Brolin: ‘I tried heroin… I never got into it and I never died from it’


I have a feeling, a sense about Josh Brolin, and I fully admit that most of my sense of him is probably unfounded. He seems like he’s probably a casual misogynist, a bastard and a real piece of work. What disturbs me is that I also think he’s a gifted actor, and sometimes I’ve even sort of found him attractive. What can I say? He brings out strong feelings. Anyway, Josh is promoting Labor Day – that film where Kate Winslet plays a single mom and he plays an escaped convict who makes pies – and he gave a surprisingly interesting interview to The Guardian. You can read the full piece here. Most sites are running with the heroin quote as the lead, but there are several interesting pieces of information. Some highlights:

Having a goatee in the film: “For some reason, my face, when I have a goatee, is pretty f–king scary. Even just in my life, I can see how it affects people. I mean, I don’t have tattoos any more. I used to have a lot of tattoos. And I remember being in business meetings with these dumb jailhouse tattoos and I would see how people reacted. They were always very freaked out.”

He was in a ‘gang’ called the Cito Rats when he was a kid: “It was Santa Barbara. It was the 80s. It was punk rock. You either had the children of rich, neglectful parents or children of poor, neglectful parents, so it was a mix. But we basically grew up the same way. I’ve never seen a group like that before or since.”

He committed crimes to buy drugs back then: “I tried heroin. That sounds so horrible when you put it like that. But yeah, I tried heroin. I mean, I never got into it and I never died from it, which is a good thing. I’ve had 19 friends who died. Most of those guys I grew up with, they’re all dead now. I used to think you should try to deconstruct everything. Experience everything. Just get yourself out there. But I don’t believe that any more. Having adventures is all very well, but an imagination can make up for all that. That’s the more intelligent way to be. And it keeps you out of harm’s way.”

Labor Day is set in 1987, what he was doing that year: “I was acting in a TV series called Private Eye. And I was getting ready to have my first kid. And everyone told me I shouldn’t. Well, I was an idiot. A 19-year-old guy riding on a Harley-Davidson, so embarrassingly dumb. But she got pregnant and that’s what happened. No, no, it was good. She [Alice Adair] was the mother of my children. I’m still best friends with her. I ended up having two amazing kids, so it turned out OK. No, that was a good year. That was my favorite year. It was the year my whole life changed. I had kids and I started doing theatre.”

He gave up acting for a time & began day-trading: He began trading on the markets and discovered a talent. He learned the charts and the algorithms and interpreted their peaks and troughs as signs of fear and greed. “So it wasn’t a chart I was looking at, it was people reacting. Fear and greed, that’s all that there is. And I traded very specifically. I found momentum stocks that had room to breathe and I just grab a little of the breath.” He traded full-time for a three year spell and apparently made a bundle.

His bad 2013, getting a divorce & being arrested: “Well, it was another turning point. It made me think of a lot of things. My mum dying when I was in my 20s. All the impact that had on me that I hadn’t moved past; I was always such a momma’s boy. But I realised that I was on a destructive path. I knew that I had to change and mature. It was like I stepped back and saw the hamster wheel.”

[From The Guardian]

I found the day-trading thing fascinating. So that’s how he lived for a while and then reappeared in Hollywood in his 30s a changed man – he didn’t need the work, and so there wasn’t that sense of desperation. He was suddenly freed up to do smaller character work and it just kept building. I’ve began to feel the same way about Josh that I feel about his friend Sean Penn: I can watch Sean Penn in films and be completely absorbed by his performance and think that he’s one of the most gifted actors of his generation… and then as soon as he’s not in character, he’s still the same douchebag. Am I being unfair to Josh? Because I’m starting to wonder if I’m being unfair. He sounds sort of interesting in this interview.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

27 Responses to “Josh Brolin: ‘I tried heroin… I never got into it and I never died from it’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Maria says:

    He’s a douche, there’s video to prove it, plus his outbursts at Diane Lane.

    No thanks.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Agree, plus I don’t find him attractive. I can see how people would, but he just looks too blow-dried, stick up the bottom or something for me.

    • Kroll says:

      He is the one with the domestic violence issues right? Theres nothing remotely interesting about this hot pile of dog shit.

    • Charlotte says:

      Diane Lane is my man’s celeb girlfriend ever since he first saw Streets of Fire. She’s still just as gorgeous. Josh Brolin is pathetic.

  2. blue marie says:

    Yeah, I view him and Penn the same way as well. Great actors, but that’s about it.

  3. MrsBPitt says:

    Does he ever mention his father in interviews?? I always had the impression that James Brolin was a jerk… The comment “I was such a Mommas boy” made me feel sorry for him…He is a talented actor, but he definitely has his demons…

  4. ldub says:

    I’d hate f*ck him then keep it movin.
    NO ONE disrespects cherry valance!

  5. Lilacflowers says:

    No, you aren’t being unfair to him. He’s a talented actor and an extremely flawed human being.

  6. SamiHami says:

    So he is saying that he was a neglected child?

    I just don’t see him as terribly talented. He’s okay, but just okay. I do find it difficult to watch him (or Sean Penn) in movies because they are both such jerks, but Penn is far and away more talented than Brolin could ever dream of being.

  7. Frida_K says:

    Seeing the Cito Rats mentioned in print gave me a chill. My brother was an IV Loc (Isla Vista Local) and there were interactions with the Montecito kids. Ugh. No memories that I want to relive now that I’m an adult, that’s for sure. And my side of town had it harder than his; I think his mention of “poor, neglectful parents” is a reference to the IV kids that he must have known via the aforementioned interactions rather than the Montecito kids, now that I’m pondering it.

    I always thought that Josh Brolin looked familiar for some reason (aside from his status as an actor). I wonder if I ever saw him when I was younger. He’s a little older than I am and my brother kept me firmly out of that scene, so if I did ever see him, it was in passing…

    Long story short though–I can see why he is the way he is though. He’s classic S.B. from that time period, no doubt about it.

  8. Hiddles forever says:

    Hmm he sounds quite an abusive guy and definitively a douche.
    Great actor, yes, still a douche though!

    • manta says:

      I just wonder what the set of Milk looked like between the takes: Penn, Franco, Brolin, Emile Hirsch on the same perimeter. The douchemeter probably exploded.
      And if they all hanged together during the shooting, there must be terrific stories to be written.

      • GlimmerBunny says:

        Why is Emile Hirsch a douche? I’ve never heard anything bad about him and I think he’s cute and a very underrated actor.

  9. Mel M says:

    The only thing I think of when I see him is “Goonies never say die”

  10. Chris says:

    I think you are being unfair. He’s given other interviews where he has discussed his childhood and how his mom’s love was very conditional. She didn’t think acting was tough or manly enough. I think she really did a number on him.

    Aside from that, I think it is unfair to call him a domestic abuser. We have evidence of one event 10 years ago. He has explained that they were both super drunk and he started talking smack and Diane said “oh yeah?” and she called the cops. All terrible behavior on his part, yes. But I think you can have one terrible night, without being an across the board domestic abuser. His first wife has never claimed any abuse. He dated Minnie Driver for years and she has never claimed that he was abusive to her. Yes, I know that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen–but I say innocent till PROVEN guilty. If we had pictures or confirmation from Diane Lane that she was actually assaulted, then string him up. Until then, I say give him a break.

    • Lisa says:

      My dad once beat up my mom in front of my brother and me (my brother, being older, had to call 9-1-1). My dad spent the night in jail, and my mom declined to press charges. My dad never hit her again (and our house was so small and the walls were so thin, if he had, we all would have known immediately). I do think my dad was pretty drunk at the time, and though I’m not at all OK with what he did, I do not consider him a domestic abuser. I don’t consider him a nice guy, either, but that’s based on more than just his one night of really terrible behavior.

    • Rainbows says:

      Nope, still think hes a gross douche nozzle. Nice try though.

    • lol says:

      I’m with you, Chris. I feel the same exact way as you do about this situation. I’m usually the only one defending him. I feel that people’s reaction to Josh is completely unreasonable and the accusations are unfounded.

  11. Happy21 says:

    Love him, can’t help it. I love his weakness and my god he is HOT. The domestic abuse charges were said to be bogus and took place during an evening of drinking. I see A LOT of this stuff in my profession as a paralegal in a criminal law firm and can honestly say that alcohol doesn’t bring out the best in a lot of people but that doens’t mean that’s who they are. And he’s admitted he is a nasty drunk so I’ll forgive him. Penn on the other hand I believe is truly abusive without the help of alcohol.

  12. Kikky says:

    He and every woman beater in Hollywood (SEAN PENN) should be banned from the screen. This idiots make tons of money and are criminals, doesn’t respect their public who pays their big checks at the end (again, Sean Penn), just as Chris Brown. It will be my mission from now on, and I encourage every woman to do the same, on every gossip or news related to PENN, BROLIN etc, make everybody know that they have a domestic assault past, No more jobs to women beaters.

    • Chris says:

      But what if he did not beat anybody? Should we just close are ears and say “Blah, blah, blah–I can’t hear you”? I am all for punishing people who beat women. I am not for unjustly accusing someone just because when you sift through the facts, things get murky. No, I would not lump Brolin in with Chris Brown, because we have pictures and testimony in the Brown case. I think it’s important to examine facts in each of these situations–because if we don’t, and just say “Nope! Domestic Abuser!”, then I think we run the risk of losing credibility when there is in fact a very dangerous man and a dangerous situation.

      If anybody has any evidence beyond that one night–I would love to hear it.

      • Kikky says:

        Both penn and Brolin abused their wives. In Penn’s case there’s a police report but madonna didn’t press charges. Same with Diane. Police doesn’t write a report unless they are sure they can proceed. But if the victim doesn’t press charges Police can do nothing. But the record remains. They’re WITHOUT A DOUBT woman abusers. Stop trying to defend them.

      • Chris says:

        This is a thread about Josh Brolin, I am not commenting on Sean Penn.

        If you want to say “in my opinion I think Brolin is an abuser and a douche”, that’s fine. That’s what we do here at Celebitchy. We voice our opinions. However, to say he is an abuser WITHOUT A DOUBT is silly. When both parties involved say it was a misunderstanding, there is room for doubt–unless you were there that night and can give eyewitness testimony.

        As a practicing attorney for the last 14 years, I feel like I can speak on this matter with some level of expertise. Domestic violence is very tricky. When the police are called to a situation, a report must be filed. The parties must be physically separated. They cannot just accept “it was nothing” and walk away. It’s potentially too dangerous for the person that made the call. Now after a report is filed, the accuser can decide to press charges or to drop it. Even if the accuser does not want to go forward, in California, the state may continue to proceed in the action if they feel they have a substantial case (which they did not do). I relay all this to make the point that a report filed has nothing to do with culpability.

        Josh Brolin may have in fact assaulted Diane Lane that evening. Or maybe not. To say with certainty that he abusive is a willful disregard of the facts as presented.

  13. Nina W says:

    I went to high school with Josh and we had a lot of mutual friends. We were all interested in partying back then. We hung out a few times, he was mellow and easy-going every time I met him.