Although Josh Brolin was a child actor with a privileged upbringing, he still experienced a dark past that he is able to tap into for his movie roles. Now starring alongside Kate Winslet in the film “Labor Day” as an escaped convict, Brolin wanted the role because he saw it as a challenge but something that can suit his often intimidating appearance.
Brolin grew up with money and plenty of options because of his actor father, James Brolin, but managed to get into trouble and run with a risky crowd. He was no stranger to drug use in the past but managed to avoid dealing with any kind of addiction or overdose himself.
Growing Up with Dangerous Habits
Josh Brolin was well-known for his acting roles as a kid in the 80s with popular family films like “the Goonies”. At the time he was one of the Hollywood brats that had little acting ability and plenty of family money. He got involved in a surf gang called the “Cito Rats” along with other kids with neglectful parents that were both rich and poor.
The gang was meant to be a group of friends looking out for one another but at the time Brolin began to get into trouble. He engaged in dangerous activities such as robbing cars for drugs and admitted that he tried heroin as a young kid.
Many of his friends that he grew up with developed heroin addictions and died as a result of their drug. He was lucky enough not to become addicted to heroin and never had any overdose experiences but 19 of his childhood friends died because of drug abuse.
Moving On From Drug Use and Pursuing Acting
For Brolin, heroin was something he was never completely interested in getting too involved with. He decided the drug was not for him and ultimately was a meaningless experience that brought him nothing important or memorable. He realized from his experiences of the past that being intelligent and imaginative can allow you to get more out of life than risky adventures.
After taking a number of similar roles in the 80s, Brolin wanted to expand his acting career which he felt was becoming stuck. In 1996 he began getting better roles as his acting progressed and his talent further developed. He worked doing theatre and focused on higher quality films, eventually earning an Oscar nomination for his work as George Bush in Oliver Stone’s “W”. He began to truly love acting and his work started to reflect his renewed passion for film.
Struggling To Stay Sober
In spite of his progress in acting and his new life, Brolin still manages to backslide from time to time and go back to his old ways of getting into trouble. He was arrested last year for public intoxication and spent the night in jail. He went down a destructive path especially after his divorce to actress Diane Lane but now is trying to remain straight and sober again.
His acting jobs keep him focused and making films is something that is very rewarding for him as he goes through difficult moments in his life. Brolin draws on his experiences of the past with breaking the law, using drugs and alcohol to portray the character Frank in “Labor Day”. His role in the movie is that of a convict in hiding that becomes a surrogate father and husband to a family that has taken him in. Brolin is able to play the character’s tough exterior as well as his inner sympathy and love.