In the belly of the Comic-Con International beast, Josh Brolin came right out and said it: he doesn’t actually like comic books. ”I didn’t read comic books when I was a kid,” Brolin told a roomful of reporters. ”I read a lot of Ray Bradbury.”
Fresh from a Comic-Con International panel featuring clips from Warner Bros.’ forthcoming Jonah Hex movie, Brolin, who stars as the bitter D.C. Comics character, nonetheless said he was thrilled by fanboy response to the Hex teasers. ”No bullshit: to have 6800 people in a room react like that is pretty amazing. It was nice to feel the buzz in the audience.”
Director Jimmy Hayward, a Jonah Hex devotee, concentrated on remaining true to the spirit of the comic book while Brolin focused on putting his own spin on the character. “In the comic book,” Brolin said, “Jonah is this alcoholic, curmudgeonly bounty hunter who goes from place to place trying to get through the day. It’s not in the comic book, but from my perspective, he’s loosely based on this guy named Al Sievert who fought in the Civil War and was stabbed and shot 40-some times. Al grew to a ripe old age before he died. Jonah Hex is a hybrid of different people. I loved the way this guy is such a survivor.”
To morph into the craggy-faced anti-hero, Brolin spent three hours a day getting his mouth pulled back with gaffer tape and otherwise submitting to a grueling make-up regimen. The actor calculates that he spent 5 and a half days of his life in make-up over the course of the 45 day Louisiana shoot. ”That got old fast,” Brolin said.
Fox, who showed up at the press conference dressed in tight black pants, high heels and black jacket, described her character as “The love interest I guess you could call it, but not very conventional. Leila is this prostitute that Jonah Hex has been visiting for years.”
Brolin chimed in: “There’s love in the air. A weird love. A prostitute-type love.”
Fox laughed, then elaborated: “They have a special relationship. He doesn’t want to allow her to get to close to him because everyone that he loves dies. She doesn’t really understand that concept, so she’s part of this push and pull sort of situation.”