One afternoon about a year ago, a low-level Paramount executive got a phone call from the director Joel Coen.
“Where’s your boss?” Mr. Coen said. “We found Moss!”
“Are you certain?” asked the exec. Yes, Mr. Coen and brother Ethan were certain: Josh Brolin was the perfect fit to play Llewelyn Moss, the protagonist of their new film, No Country for Old Men.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Transom attended the premiere of the (genius!) film, afterward lumbering across the street to Gabriel’s in a crowd that included singer Bono; artist Julian Schnabel; and the actors Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones.
There, Mr. Brolin, 39, and probably still best known for his role in The Goonies and his marriage to the gorgeous Diane Lane (nowhere in evidence), explained how in fact he managed to get the part for which dozens of A-list names (including Brad Pitt, said the low-level exec) had been vying.
“I had done an audition tape with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and Robert’s my friend,” Mr. Brolin said. “And during lunch one day we put a couple of scenes on the Genesis camera, which is a $950,000 camera, and at least lookwise it was probably the nicest-looking audition tape in the history of audition tapes. But they didn’t really respond to it.”
It turns out a huge debt of gratitude is owed to Mr. Brolin’s agent Michael Cooper—or “the gnat,” as the Coens started calling him. “He just kept saying, ‘All you need to do is meet Josh, meet Josh,’” Mr. Brolin said.
In a pair of jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, like our source told us?
“I was very focused,” Mr. Brolin said. “I never thought in a million years I’d get the part, man. I’ve been in that situation a million times.” But, he added, “I have no hard feelings for the parts that I’ve lost and I hope other people don’t have hard feeling for the parts I’ve actually gotten.”
So what does this mean for the career of Josh Brolin?
“I don’t know what it means,” said Mr. Brolin. “All I know is I continue to work, and I’m very happy to work with people like them who are interested in a collaborative, creative process, as is Ridley Scott, as is Paul Haggis, as is Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.”
Hear that, Hollywood?