Brolin: I was crippled by nerves
Josh Brolin has spoken about the intense bouts of nerves he used to experience when working.
The 47-year-old actor has been through a lot in the last few years, getting divorced from Diane Lane in 2013 and finding love again with his new fiancée Kathryn Boyd. Something has clicked professionally for Josh amongst the turmoil and he's now able to enjoy work in a completely new way.
"There is a difference and I don’t know exactly what it is, there are changes in my personal life, maybe that has something to do with it,” he told British newspaper The Independent. “I just know that for someone who was so self-conscious it just doesn’t happen so much anymore. There was a lot of shaking before. I used to remember roles based on how nervous I was... I would be self-involved – what do they think? Am I stupid? Am I coming across OK?"
While some stars are able to embrace their unease and use it to drive their characters forward, it wasn't that way for Josh. Anxiety made many movies a profoundly uncomfortable experience for him, and he's amazed that people didn’t see what he was going through on screen.
"I remember doing roles where I would have to tighten my legs so much, because my knees were shaking. I mean years. It was a very unnatural thing. I hear people say, ‘Do you get nervous?’ And I’m like, ‘Dude, you have no idea of the extremes.’ I feel like I’m finally being given space to find out what my capabilities are, without all that c**p," he said.
As well as his settled personal life, a new love of his job has helped calm Josh. He now realises the biggest part of what he does is ensuring his characters resonate with the audience, no matter how humiliating that might be for him.
"We’re here to represent the human condition and the only way to do that is to represent moments that stand out, and the moments that stand out are usually embarrassing moments," he explained. "If you can embarrass yourself in front of a crew of 100 people, and are OK with it, and can actually feel the rush of blood to your face of shame, or whatever, maybe you are doing a service artistically.”
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