Josh Brolin has had an incredible summer. He starred in both Avengers: Infinity War as universe tyrant Thanos and Deadpool 2 as the time-travelling mutant Cable. But he may not have done it if it weren’t for actor Benedict Cumberbatch. It was nothing Cumberbatch said to Brolin, in fact, it was what the actor did with a mocap performance that convinced him. The actor sat with SirusXM to tell his story.

According to Brolin, he had been debating on whether or not he should take the role of Thanos. It would be a full mocap performance where the actor is in a grey onesie with balls stuck all over the suit. Not exactly the most glamorous job in the world. But when the actor did some research on YouTube, he found Benedict’s performance as Smaug. And that’s when he realized this was a powerful tool.

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I saw Benedict Cumberbatch do, I think it was for The Hobbit, and I looked on YouTube and I was deciding whether I wanted to do it or not. And he was in this mocap suit on and he was in this big warehouse and he’s crawling around like a snake, snapping his tongue out, doing this incredible performance. And I saw that and I was like alright, like that’s the bar. This is not bullsh**. This is something you can actually sink your teeth into. Conviction. Embarrassment. 

If you haven’t seen Benedict performing Smaug, I highly recommend it. And clearly it’s a must because Brolin used that as his inspiration to join the MCU with, arguably, some of his finest work. While the king of mocap, Andy Serkis, was not mentioned, it’s clear that Brolin really respects the art that Serkis helped bring into the mainstream of film techniques. And now with Brolin’s performance in Infinity War, it solidifies the use of it. 

But! It’s also worth mentioning that Mark Ruffalo convinced Brolin to take on the part. In an interview with Late Night With Seth Meyer, the actor said Ruffalo told him about how ridiculous the suit was but that it’s worth it in the end. So on his first day on set, Ruffalo came up to him and told him how done he is with filming in the mocap suit. Which prompted Brolin to tell him that he shouldn’t say it on his first day on set! It’s really funny but it clearly worked out in the end.

What do you think of Brolin using Cumberbatch as inspiration? Let us know! Be sure to come back to Geek Girl Authority for more MCU fun. Avengers: Infinity War is still playing in select theaters.

 

Erin Lynch