We interviewed Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin about the new Coen brothers film they're in, No Country for Old Men, for this week's Fall Preview package, and they cracked us up. We couldn’t even fit all the good stuff into the article. So here they are on the reticent charm of Tommy Lee Jones and the dangers of working with rabid animals. — Logan Hill
So, Tommy Lee Jones is a tough guy. What was he like?
Brolin: After Tommy Lee Jones saw the movie, he left me a message, which Tommy just doesn’t do. He said, “I think we’re in a pretty good movie.” It was funny because he gave Joel the same message, and I think his quote was “There are extended moments of originality.”
Brolin: That’s as much as you’re going to get from Tommy.
Bardem: That’s a huge compliment.
So, Josh, you broke your collarbone — and then [in one of the film’s most terrifying and absurd sequences] you jump in that river with that insane dog.
Bardem: That fucking dog!
Brolin: So when I was in the river with the dog, this freaking dog, the dog is so fuckin’ scary it’s not even funny. All that swimming, frantically, that I was doing, all that looking terrified out of my fucking mind? All that was real! There was no acting there. I was sitting there with a freaking collarbone broken, this dog chasing after me. In the river.
That dog was terrifying.
Bardem: Josh was like “Where is the water? Where is the river? Where is the dog? Let’s do this.” Then he sees that dog. And he goes “Fuck, I don’t want to do that with my sling! My arm’s in a sling!”
Brolin: Even if my arm wasn’t broken, I wouldn’t want to go into that river with that dog. That dog looked so rabid the whole time. All he wanted was the toy. He loved this toy. So the dog’s name is Scooby, and I was like, “Here Scooby!” It was just the gayest thing. And they’d go, “Okay action!” and he’d follow the toy. But I’m swimming in the water. What do I do with the dog toy? I don’t want it in the shot. So I stuck the toy between my legs and started swimming. Anyway, they let the dog go way before they should have, so by the time we passed the camera, the dog was literally almost on top of me and I was, “No, Scooby! No, Scooby!” So I get out of the water and I go to pull out the toy from between my legs and it gets stuck in my pants. And here’s Scooby with his yellow eyes and the teeth and the gums and all that, and finally, literally just as the dog was on top of me, I pulled up the toy out — and the dog was just all mouth and teeth around the toy. It was close. That kind of shit was happening all the time. Me and Javier, it was just one thing after the other.
Related: Gallows Humor [NYM]