On the eve of the film’s DVD and Blu-ray release, we caught up with Josh Brolin to talk all things “Labor Day”.
Josh, how did you get involved in this movie?
I first read the book and got to know Joyce (Joyce Maynard wrote the novel). The book really moved me. I felt connected to the story right away.
It’s been said that this movie is a major departure for Jason Reitman as a director. Do you see it that way?
I read that as well. Supposedly this is a dark departure. I don’t think it is. He is a director with many different sides. I think he’s just revealing another part of himself in this film.
Your character has a certain tenderness and danger at the same time. Was that difficult to portray at the same time?
Jason told me that I got the part because I come across as someone that can be quite intimidating. I personally don’t think I am, but if it helps the character, so be it. I like characters like Frank Chambers. Once I start shooting, I become the character, I am inside him.
Frank is an escaped convict. Yet Adele falls in love with him. It seems very relatable, don’t you think?
I agree. These two people were in need of love. Frank’s been isolated for the past 18 years. Adele has been isolated since her divorce. They meet; they feel a connection that a lot of people can relate to.
Your character keeps the audience guessing. He’s not a very clear-cut kind of guy. Was that intentional?
Yes, it was. He’s very elusive. We keep asking ourselves, Who is this guy? What are his real motives? Is it all just manipulation?
It’s work for the audience to try to figure it out….
But that’s what makes it so intriguing. It’s not all tied up in a perfect ribbon. It’s a good thing for the audience to work for it a little. It makes it more interesting.
What was it like to be working with Kate Winslet?
She’s an amazing woman. Not intimidated by anything or anybody. It was really fun to have her around. You know we waited for almost a year for her. That’s how important she is for this story.
I read somewhere that you make pies while you are shooting movies. Is that true?
Yes, that is true. I made pies for the crew on set. Usually peach pie. That is my favorite. And everybody seemed to really like it.
Labor Day is a movie that confronts tough decisions we make in life. Can you draw from your own life decisions when you take on a role like this?
Everything you do in life requires a decision. Some are easier to make than others. Look, life is difficult enough in reality. We are lucky that we get to play fictional characters and pretend to be someone else. You will always bring in personal experiences from your own life. That goes without saying.