Without a shadow of doubt, Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War is one of the film’s many highlights as the veteran actor gave it his all. If you have yet to see the film, definitely check it out as you won’t be disappointed, and there’s a very good reason Brolin went above and beyond: he was inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Now, while their two respective characters in the film may not have particularly cared for one another, Brolin revealed it was nothing but love between the two actors as Cumberbatch unwittingly inspired him to take on the role of Thanos. The actor shared this tidbit recently during a podcast while discussing his role in Infinity War.
Brolin was doing his homework, as one should, when he came across a YouTube video of Cumberbatch acting out his parts as the dragon Smaug for The Hobbit trilogy. “He was in this [motion capture], and he’s crawling around like a snake, snapping his tongue out doing this incredible performance,” Brolin shares in the podcast. “I saw that and was like, all right, that’s the bar. This is not like bulls—t. This is something you…have to sink your teeth into conviction, embarrassment, and all this kind of stuff.”
Watching someone of Cumberbatch’s caliber getting 100% into character as he did definitely gave Brolin the boost and confidence needed to play the Mad Titan of the MCU, a role which he felt the pressure to do well in. “Marvel did this thing always where, the critics actually, were always talking about Marvel villains being the weak point,” Brolin said. “So, you have that pressure when you started to hear that. I never really knew that. The way that people are reacting to this character as if he truly exists is kind of phenomenal. It’s a phenomenal… I had never done anything like that. Mo-cap. I thought I was gonna be behind a bunch of lights and a bunch of cameras and it wasn’t like that. I was working with people. It’s a phenomenal process.”
It is safe to say that Brolin nailed it, and we will get to see much more of him when Avengers 4 hits theaters next year.