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Josh Brolin Confirms What We Suspected About The Coen Brothers' On-Set Behavior

With nearly four decades worth of film and television credits to his name, Josh Brolin has become one of the more revered actors of his generation. The actor's career, of course, began on a major high note with Brolin starring in the iconic 1985 adventure film "The Goonies." In the ensuing years, Brolin has continued to hone his craft while working with many of the finest filmmakers in the biz, including Guillermo del Toro, Ridley Scott, Spike Lee, Denis Villeneuve, and Paul Thomas Anderson.

One can easily argue, however, that Brolin's collaborations with Joel and Ethan Coen (aka the Coen Brothers) have ranked among the more fruitful of his career to date, with the actor delivering lauded turns in 2007's "No Country for Old Men," 2010's "True Grit," and 2016's "Hail, Caesar!" And Brolin has indeed taken great pleasure in regaling movie lovers with stories about working with the enigmatic Coens over the years. The latest came as he was munching away on hot wings with Sean Evans on an episode of "Hot Ones." And between fiery bites, Brolin told another hilarious bit confirming what we've long suspected about the Coen's on-set behavior.

Brolin says the Coens are meticulous, and maybe a bit impish on set

Josh Brolin's "Hot Ones" story came from the set of the Coen Brothers' nihilist masterpiece "No Country for Old Men," and detailed a conversation concerning how his character should react in a pivotal early scene. That scene found his character Llewelyn Moss stumbling across a drug deal gone wrong, and eventually a briefcase containing $2 million. According Brolin, despite the meticulous fashion in which the Coen's had structured the scene, they allowed him an ad-lib in the moment, "When we were doing 'No Country,' everything was pretty much drawn and you kind of knew what you were doing. It was not dialogue-heavy, so there wasn't a lot of stuff to experiment with ... but I know when I got the satchel and opened it up I said, 'Shouldn't there be a little something there?'" Brolin continued, "And Joel goes, 'What?' And I said, 'I don't know, like a 'huh.'"

Per Brolin, he then ran through several variations before landing on the right "huh," though he claims he couldn't quite tell whether the brothers were "f*****g with" him in the process. Brolin's "huh" did make it into the film, and arguably adds a layer of contemplation the scene may have lacked otherwise. Even so, Brolin claimed he's still not sure if the Coens were messing with him because of the way Ethan reacted during screenings, "and then every time we screened the movie I always knew where Ethan was in the theater, because every time that moment happened, he would burst out laughing."

Brolin closed the story by dryly quipping, "So was it a joke? Or did it help the movie? We'll never know." Either way, the story proves the Coens' on-set demeanor can be as playfully deadpan and unerringly serious as their films.