Yesterday, we got a chance to speak with Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, Jimmy Hayward, and Michael Fassbender for their upcoming film Jonah Hex at Comic-Con. Brolin was packing a dark, brooding, and dry humor, but was fully supporting his new film and fellow cast members. Megan Fox was far more well behaved than in the Transformers press conference a little while ago, although she still wouldn’t stop pouting her lips.
Check out the interview below…
Josh can you describe your character?
Josh Brolin: I don’t know how to describe my character, I really don’t because in the comic book he’s this alcoholic curmudgeon kind of guy, you know he’s a bounty hunter, goes from place to place just trying to get trough the day, he’s kind of — not in the comic book — but from my perspective he’s loosely based on this guy Al Seever, who existed back in civil war times who is stabbed and shot forty-some odd times, before he died, but it’s a hybrid of a of different people. This is one of those movies that before the day we shot I didn’t really know what I was going to do, you know the voice and the this, and how do we go about this, what’s going to work, so it sort of developed as we were shooting and everything seemed to that, the who story and script, what we were rewriting. It was a very tough shoot.
Luckily I didn’t have a ton of dialogue so it was okay. It was challenging as a movie, as an actor, figuring out what it is as you’re doing it but I like how it turned out. I think we got very, very lucky in what we’ve come up with and seeing what we have now, I think we were extremely fortunate given what we had to work with.
Megan, what about your character?
Megan Fox: I’m Jonah’s love interest you could call it but it’s not very conventional. She’s a prostitute that he’s been coming and visiting for years. He’s been having a special relationship, doesn’t want to allow her too close because everyone he loves dies. She doesn’t really understand that concept.
Josh Brolin: There’s love in the air, but a weird love. The prostitute type.
Jimmy can you talk about Jonah Hex?
Jimmy Hayward: There’s been a lot of talk on the Internet about how deep it is, but that has nothing to do with the film. Josh Brolin’s character is more of a terrorist who’s upset about the civil war, Hex’s been shot so many times, the legend is he’s got one foot in the grave and one here on earth and so we approach it by everybody else version of who Jonah Hex is and at the beginning of the film we show that he’s a scarred bounty hunter. He might be mentally ill but he definitely talks to the dead at some points.
How did you become involved with Jonah Hex?
Josh Brolin: I didn’t read a lot of comic books as a kid. I read a lot of Ray Bradbury that was my thing, so there’s a similarity there and I appreciated it very much. When I got into it, I loved the fact that he was an antihero. I loved that it wasn’t an extremely successful comic book. There were three manifestations of the comic book, but I loved the fact — like the character himself — it refuses to go away. There’s a great survival element to this guy, and the comic book itself so I like the fact that he’s an antihero, I like the fact that there’s not another comic book character like him and that like I said in the panel, there’s no model to base a film on him on, so we were really starting from scratch and got to create what we wanted to create with the blessing of those guys.
Jimmy what excited you about working in this project?
Jimmy Hayward: I’m a huge western fan. That’s one of the things Josh and I connected on. I was a huge fan of the comic book. Getting the opportunity to blend that stuff together, I never thought I’d see Jonah Hex get made. AL’s had this property for 15 years, so getting an opportunity to get on it was huge for me. It was great to use the spaghetti westerns as a jumping off point and then make an action movie on top of it.
Josh Brolin: Jimmy had a 1st edition of Jonah Hex that he brought, which I thought was really kind of funny. So it fit within the bizarre nature of this film. It was a perfect match.
Andrew how did you know Jimmy was the right guy for the job?
Andrew Lazar: It was just a great meeting, and we had a number of talented people that wanted to direct a movie and Jimmy just came in with an incredible understanding of the character and a passion for the project, I don’t think he sat down in the meeting. He had a very specific vision for how he was going to deal with the character and its origin tale, you could tell that he had a genuine love for the comics. For me, Neveldine and Taylor wrote a really good script. I developed several different iterations of Jonah Hex and couldn’t really get the movie off the ground. Neveldine and Taylor came with a take on Jonah and wrote a great script.
Any horror stories from makeup?
Josh Brolin: Josh Brolin: It was a horror story in itself. 3 hours in makeup per day. We figured out the end, with 46 shooting days, I spent 5 full days in the makeup chair, 24 hours a day. It’s great for the first five days. Then after that it gets a little old. We were very lucky because I did a couple prosthetics in Louisiana for W. we had some problems with it. How it worked was a piece of tape on my cheek and also a piece of tape behind this ear and then we fastened that to the back of my neck and I had a prosthetic over that. Had one that held my mouth all the way back as far as it could go, and then I had another prosthetic and then we painted all to make it look even. The eye thing, I wasn’t going to bring that up, but Jonah Hex is a comic book. It’s drawn. In reality, if Jonah Hex had had an eye like that it’d be a little raisin in the back of his brain. We didn’t have the money to do CGI and all that kind of stuff and we really didn’t want to because it’s all about right here. You go back to the Clint Eastwood-Spaghetti westerns any spaghetti western, the Japanese, whatever, it’s about that expression. I tried it, I pulled this eye down. Within an hour, my eye started to get infected. I realized I’m not that committed of an actor. I fought for it. I fought for it for a little while, but that’s just because I’m an actor.
How gratifying is it to see fans in the Comic-Con community so excited for Jonah Hex?
Josh Brolin: No bullshit, it’s amazing. To have 6800 people react to that teaser, I reacted. I saw it on my computer at home with a friend of mine, next to me, and he said, “That’s movie magic.” He had been on the set, he saw what we went through, the realities of dealing like this with a camera her and all of the decisions that had to be made and then he saw that manifested to a couple of minutes — it was a six minute teaser — and he said, “That’s amazing, that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.” It was nice to feel the buzz in the audience and that’s what matters. This came out of nothing, this was a blank piece of paper at one point. it’s very nice to get the reaction that we got.
Megan you said that this is the most serious role that they gave you. Can you elaborate more on what you meant by that?
Megan Fox: I think I just meant having to try and keep my head above water in a scene above Brolin is a really difficult thing to do. It’s true. It was only five days that I filmed and I’ve never been more exhausted filming something. I mean I shot 108 days on transformers and the five days I spent on this role was a lot more difficult. It’s just hard, I’m way out of my league. Everything is so far over me head, I’m just trying to stay alive.
And how about doing that period piece with the costumes and your hair?
Megan Fox: That was a lot of fun. The corset obviously changes the way you walk and your breathing patterns so I enjoyed that. I wanted that cinch to tighten me as much as possible.
Lazar and Mr. Hayward, I wonder if you have ever seen the animated version and what you thought of it?
Jimmy Hayward: Yeah, those things are great. He kind of looks like Johnny Winters in that one, but it’s cool to see. I’m a Jonah Hex fan, so whatever I get to see I’m pretty stoked on it.
Michael, can you talk about your character?
Michael Fassbender: I play Malkovich’s right-hand man, I guess he’s sort of just a kid in a candy store because he has this environment where he can basically do whatever he wants, which means killing and creating mayhem. He doesn’t have a cause that he’s fighting for, and he’s pretty twisted.
Josh Brolin: What Michael has done, I love that nobody really knows — you know, “Ladies and gentleman, please come for a signing with Megan Fox and Josh Brolin, (whispers) Michael Fassbender.” (Laughs) Nobody knows Michael yet, it’s hilarious because we know and we know what you don’t know yet, and I don’t know if anybody saw Hunger, this very little film that not a lot of people saw, he’s in Inglorious Basterds and it’s not about the fucking resume per-say, but it’s about what he did with the role, the role was not flushed out in the writing and what he brought to the role, this idea that he talks about, you see it in the teaser and to me it’s the greatest moment of the teaser. You have the silence in the middle of the teaser with Michael’s character spinning his hat and total silence and him just whistling and everybody reacted to that great character moment, I think it will be a resounding character for everyone. And then I was a friend of mine that didn’t feel Michael did a very good Irish accent and he’s from Ireland, which I love.
Andrew Lazar: It was also because Malkovich’s character, Turnball, is so rooted in the Civil War. Jonah has a backstory that’s related. So the idea of having someone that was Irish, that actually wasn’t invested in anything, that these two guys were that juxtaposition was really exciting for us, somebody that didn’t care. They weren’t rooted in this heavy backstory because they were just out for themselves.
Jimmy Hayward: He brought a detailed and humorous sensibility to a character that could’ve been simple and flat. It’s in the details.
Josh Brolin: And then I had a friend of mine that saw some dailies, didn’t feel Michael did a very good Irish accent and he’s from Ireland, which I love.
Post press conference chatter with Megan Fox:
You were hilarious last night have you been waiting to show us that side of you?
MF: Show the press that side of me? Thanks. That’s just how I am. That’s my personality. So when I’m allowed to talk…
Do you think, given full disclosure you’d kill them, most guys would still opt for a night with you?
MF: I don’t think so.
Did you walk around last year with nobody recognizing you?
MF: Yeah, totally.
Can you do that now?
MF: If I was dressed like that and I kept my head down, sure, because I’m so short, people don’t notice.
Did you do any research on prostitutes?
MF: No, not really. The kind of prostitution that existed back then is very different than the kind that exists now. That was a very common way for a woman to make a living and we didn’t really show. If there had been more graphic scenes, I probably would have but the only sex scene that is in there is between Jonah and Leila and they’re lovers, so that wasn’t really the same sort of situation. Good question.
You said five days but you’re second billed.
MF: Oh, I think that’s just for the Comic Con poster.
But is it a significant character?
MF: I’m the only girl so I guess it is.
How did you get the old fashioned look?
MF: I don’t know, I didn’t do anything. I just showed up and they did my hair and makeup.