No Country For Old Males: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts About The Coen Brothers Classic


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Josh Brolin in No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Males will eternally go down as one among my favourite films. From the primary time I went in blind to a screening on Thanksgiving Eve in 2007 (and about 4 or 5 extra viewings in theaters) I used to be hooked by the Coen Brothers mastery of the tone and narrative of Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the identical identify. Since that fateful night time, I have been obsessive about the whole lot in regards to the modern-day western with hints of movie noir. From interviews with the filmmakers and solid to simply about each evaluate I might discover, I wished to know each single element and all the behind the scenes details of the way it all got here collectively.

So, simply think about how excited I used to be when given the chance to take a deeper dive into the making of one among my favourite films of all time. By this undertaking, I used to be capable of dig up data on the whole lot from the casting to the capturing, and determine what all went behind the character of Anton Chigurh, probably the most ruthless characters in cinematic historical past.

Josh Brolin in No Country For Old Men

Quentin Tarantino And Robert Rodriguez Helped Josh Brolin Movie His Audition Tape

Josh Brolin was a star in his personal proper within the ’80s with hits like The Goonies and Thrashin’, however the one-day Marvel star was in a little bit of a profession downturn by the point he was solid as Llewelyn Moss in No Country For Old Males. How the previous heartthrob turned his profession round is sort of the shaggy dog story, particularly when you think about the 2 large named filmmakers who helped him get solid within the Coen Brothers basic.

Whereas sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter forward of the discharge of Hail, Caesar!, Josh Brolin defined that he was on the set of Grindhouse when he discovered in regards to the undertaking and wished to audition when Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez heard about it, stating:

I used to be making an attempt to get a job. It was like, ‘Hey, can I [do an audition tape] for this?’ [The Coens said,] ‘Sure, you possibly can.’ Quentin mentioned, ‘I am going to direct it,’ and Robert mentioned, ‘Let me shoot it.’ So we did this tape and despatched it to the Coens, and their response was, ‘Who lit it?’ It was most likely the perfect wanting audition anybody has ever seen.

I suppose you possibly can thank two of probably the most prolific American filmmakers for Josh Brolin’s mid-2000s profession resurgence.

Josh Brolin in No Country For Old Men

Josh Brolin Broke His Collarbone Earlier than Manufacturing Began, However It Really Labored Out For The Plot

After Josh Brolin went by means of the entire technique of getting the a part of Llewelyn Moss, he had a freak bike accident on the way in which to a wardrobe becoming that resulted within the actor breaking his collarbone. Brolin revealed this little tidbit of knowledge throughout a 2007 round-table interview (by way of Collider), the place he additionally defined that he tried to reduce the severity of the harm in order that he did not lose the function, stating:

I lied and I informed them it was way more minor than it was after which I used to be informed I used to be liable if something occurred to me after which I talked to my physician, after which he lied for me after which actually the one cause I used to be capable of do the film is I bear in mind Ethan mentioned to me after he talked to the physician he mentioned ‘What shoulder is it?’ I mentioned ‘It’s my proper shoulder.’ He mentioned ‘Moss will get shot in the proper shoulder. We’ll be advantageous,’ and we by no means needed to change something within the film.

Regardless of not dropping his gig, Brolin defined that the entire course of was a ache, particularly the scene the place he has to drift down a river whereas being chased by a canine.

Garret Dillahunt in No Country For Old Men

Garret Dillahunt Auditioned For The Llewelyn Moss Function A Complete Of 5 Instances

Garret Dillahunt ended up with a small function as Wendell in No Country For Old Males, however he was up for the function of Llewelyn Moss earlier than Josh Brolin was finally solid within the function. Nevertheless it wasn’t a one audition kind scenario as the long run Concern The Strolling Useless star revealed in a 2011 interview with AV Membership, stating:

I auditioned for Moss about 5 instances, each time a star fell out. That occurs to me loads when stars fall out — they go to me, or I’ve a shot. So I auditioned with the Coens for Moss in New York and L.A., and it simply wasn’t gonna occur. They actually wanted somebody extra recognizable, however they mentioned, ‘Would you play this different half?’ and so they learn me for Wendell.

Evidently it labored out for Garret Dillahunt because the actor has gone on to have starring roles in Elevating Hope, The Mindy Undertaking, and dozens of different tv and movie initiatives.

Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men

The Coen Brothers Felt That Tommy Lee Jones, A Texas Native, Introduced Authenticity To The Movie

Along with the stellar casting of Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss and Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh (don’t fret, way more on him later), No Country For Old Males is anchored by a riveting efficiency by Tommy Lee Jones as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. This quiet, but profound efficiency by the elder actor ties a lot of the film collectively and brings a stage of the believability to film, which is one thing that Ethan Coen thought the function wanted, as he and his brother Joel informed The Guardian in 2007:

He grew up [in Texas]. He is from San Saba, Texas, not removed from the place the film takes place. He is the true factor relating to that area. There is a quick record of people that might play that half on the primary stage of the qualities you want: age, display presence, and the necessity to actually inhabit that area and that panorama.

With qualities like that, it ought to come as no shock that Tommy Lee Jones gave among the best performances of his profession in No Country For Old Males, even when his ending monologue was just a little ambiguous.

Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Males And There Will Be Blood Shared A West Texas City Throughout Manufacturing

Main as much as the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008 there was a substantial amount of the excitement surrounding the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Males and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood to see which of the large two films would take dwelling probably the most gold. The Coen Brothers movie took dwelling awards for Finest Image, Finest Director, Finest Tailored Screenplay, and Finest Supporting Actor (I promise, we’ll get to Javier Bardem), with PTA’s epic story of a crazed oil tycoon taking dwelling Finest Actor and finest Cinematography. However the two movies’ paths did not cross on the Oscars for the primary time.

Whereas the lion’s share of No Country For Old Males was shot in Las Vegas, New Mexico, a number of weeks of the manufacturing have been spent within the small West Texas city of Marfa, which additionally occurred to be the capturing location for a lot of There Will Be Blood. A 2008 article within the Instances Herald-Report profiling the small city’s function in quite a lot of Hollywood productions revealed that at instances, each shoots have been no quite a lot of miles aside from each other. Right here they have been, two of probably the most beloved movies of the previous 20 years, being created simply miles from one another.

Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men

Javier Bardem Advised The Coen Brothers He Hated Violence And Was Uncomfortable Talking English

Javier Bardem was already a longtime actor in his personal proper earlier than being solid because the impassive and ruthless Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Males, however the Spanish actor grew to become a celebrity for the function that earned him an Academy Award for Finest Supporting Actor. However by watching his efficiency time and time once more, the thought that Bardem did not like violence and did not have a mastery of the English language by no means would have crossed your thoughts. Effectively, about that.

Throughout a 2008 interview with The New York Instances, Bardem revealed that the function was fairly a departure from these he was used to taking as much as that time and that he informed the Coen Brothers that he did not have expertise with firearms, did not drive, and was uncomfortable talking English:

They weren’t involved. Whenever you act, you be taught issues. Earlier than No Country I had by no means held a gun and now I can drive a automobile. Once I was doing Chigurh, my English grew to become so good that I used to be dreaming in English. Actors don’t be taught as a result of they need to know, we be taught as a result of now we have to be taught.

Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men

Javier Bardem Felt Anton Chigurh’s Iconic Haircut Added One other Dimension To The Character

Apart from the cattle bolt and icy chilly demeanor that this character carries round all through No Country For Old Males, the important thing characterstic of Anton Chigurh is his trademark haircut. Upon the discharge of the movie it was all anybody might say in regards to the hitman on a mission. Even Javier Bardem was initially stunned by the lower, however the actor would go on to really feel that it added one other dimension to the character, as he informed Collider in 2007:

So, I went to the trailer, and so they lower it and I noticed it and I mentioned, ‘What the hell is that?’ However that helped loads truly, as a result of in a manner he gave this actuality to the character this dimension of being very methodical. Every thing is in place. It’s type of mathematical. Like completely structured which is the way in which I assumed the character needs to be. Completely clear.

Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men

A Psychological Research Named Anton Chigurh The Most Sensible Film Psychopath

Javier Bardem was so convincing at taking part in the methodical Anton Chigurh that the character ended up changing into the poster-child for film psychopaths. In 2018, Enterprise Insider reported that Samuel Leistedt, a Belgian psychiatry professor wished to seek out out which film characters finest embodied the traits of a psychopath.

Beginning in 2014, Leistedt and a gaggle of 10 buddies watched a complete of 400 films and studied greater than 120 characters earlier than they got here to the conclusion that Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Anton Chigurh was probably the most reasonable depiction of a psychopath in a film launched between 1915 and 2010. Citing his invulnerability and resistance to emotion or primary humanity, Chigurh beat out an inventory of among the most deranged in cinematic historical past.

Mark Strong in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Function Of Anton Chigurh Nearly Went To Mark Robust

With any film as well-known as No Country For Old Males, there are going to be loads of what-ifs within the casting division. The function of Anton Chigurh isn’t any completely different as Mark Robust revealed in a 2008 interview with Digital Spy that he was one of many remaining selections for the function that finally went to Javier Bardem, stating:

I acquired right down to the final two with Javier Bardem for that half, would you consider? The Coen Brothers had seen Syriana and Oliver Twist and determined to satisfy [me] as a result of they could not consider it was the identical individual. I went over to New York and met them and so they sat me down, I did the scene within the storage with them. They mentioned, ‘Thanks very a lot’ and an hour later I used to be out of the room.

Robust, who would go on to point out up in films like Sherlock Holmes, The Kingsman, and 1917, however it looks as if he was this near exhibiting up in No Country For Old Males, particularly when a scheduling battle nearly pressured Javier Bardem out of the image.

Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men

Cinematographer Roger Deakins Shot The Movie In A Manner That Did not Sensationalize Or Downplay The Violence

Roger Deakins isn’t any stranger to successfully balancing magnificence and violence within the movies the place he has served because the cinematographer, simply have a look at the incredible 1917 (which earned him one other Academy Award in 2020). Discovering that steadiness is essential to all of his footage, together with No Country For Old Males, the place the acclaimed director of pictures labored with Joel and Ethan Coen to create the feel and appear the administrators have been capturing for, as he informed Rotten Tomatoes in 2008:

The path got here from Joel and Ethan; they wished it to look a sure manner. When it comes to lighting and filming they wished it to be very matter of truth. We didn’t need to sensationalize the violence, however we didn’t need to play it down both. It’s simply there and you must settle for it. With out the violence within the movie and organising this sort of world, you wouldn’t have the power of the latter a part of the movie. It was brutal, and we wished to point out it for what it was.

Regardless that No Country For Old Males is an especially violent film, the matter-of-fact presentation of that violence doesn’t come off as over-the-top and pointless as different footage launched in current reminiscence. I suppose now we have a gaggle of masters of their respective crafts to thank for that.

There you may have it, 10 details in regards to the making of No Country For Old Males. It is wonderful to see how a lot care and consideration was put into creating probably the most well-received movies of the previous 20 years. If this piece has you all equipped for Josh Brolin, try what we have written in regards to the actor’s involvement within the upcoming Dune remake.



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