Josh Brolin Talks About His Professional Struggles Right After The Goonies, And What He Learned About Being A Working Actor

No matter how many acclaimed films Josh Brolin does over the course of his career – and he has a lengthy list of outstanding film credits – he’ll always be known as a Goonie. Brolin knows this, and is often very proud of the fact. That core group has sustained a strong fandom for decades,  whether you watched The Goonies as a kid in the 1980s, or finally checked it out as an adult, wondering what all the fuss has been about. And while The Goonies cast has gone on to do incredible things in the film industry, that steady trajectory to the top wasn’t automatic, the way Brolin thought. 

No one is going to question Josh Brolin’s talent, or doubt the strength of his filmography. He stars in what might the Coen Brothers’ best film. He was freaking Thanos. He has been magnificent in Oldboy, Inherent Vice, and Men in Black 3. But while making the press rounds to promote Dune: Part Two, Brolin reflected on his young co-star Timothee Chalamet, and his own lessons learned after breaking into the film business. Chalamet, naturally, has carried films like Dune and Wonka. In his own 20s, Brolin experienced massive success with The Goonies… then fell off. As he told CinemaBlend:

I was a kid who wasn’t doing so well. And then suddenly I moved – I was forced to move – and then I went down, and suddenly I’m in The Goonies. And then I thought it continued like that! (laughs) But it didn’t. You just go (swings down). And then you have to work. You become a working actor. But I was very lucky to have a couple of mentors in my life. Acting mentors that I got to rely on, and who saw something in me I didn’t see in myself. I’m very lucky to have had that growing up.

Josh Brolin might not be the man that he is today without those mentors. It can be complicated, painful, and isolating making it in the film industry. Every new project presents new opportunities… but also new challenges. Goonies co-stars such as Corey Feldman and Kerri Green parlayed their popularity into immediate gigs. For Brolin and Sean Astin, things took time. But they led to amazing parts in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Rudy, Sicario, W., and more. 

In Dune: Part Two, Brolin returns to the role of Gurney, a mentor for Chalamet’s Paul Atreides who fights by the boy’s side to reclaim the spice trade on Arrakis. Early reviews have been off the charts good, and predictions for the opening weekend box office have been strong. Brolin is probably happy to hear that, but he doesn’t have to rely on success like that to earn gigs. He’s one of our most talented character actors, an asset to any production, and a valuable resource in the Dune franchise. 

Dune: Part Two opens everywhere on February 29. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.