Surprise! Tommy Lee Jones Doesn’t Care For Josh Brolin’s Impression
We haven’t seen much of Josh Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones impersonation for the upcoming ‘Men In Black 3,’ but the brief snippet at the end of the full trailer was spot on. He nails Jones’ laconic line delivery. And almost everyone who has commented on Brolin’s deadpan take said that they love it. I say “almost” everyone because Jones has weighed in. And he doesn’t seem to care for it.
Oh, Jones doesn’t come right out and admit that he hates Brolin’s performance in Barry Sonnenfeld’s sci-fi sequel. It would be out of character, so to speak, for Jones to administer praise or lay the smack down on Brolin. Jones pretty much keeps to himself. But when EW.com asked Brolin if his ‘Men In Black’ co-star commented on the impression, the former ‘Goonie’ deflected.
"I didn’t ever do Tommy in front of Tommy,” he says. “I know Tommy just saw the movie — and his only comment was that he really liked [actor Michael Stuhlbarg's character] Griffin. … Tommy’s tough.”
For those who don’t know, the plot of ‘MIB3’ has Will Smith’s Agent J going back in time to prevent an alien (Jemaine Clement) from eliminating a younger version of Jones’ Agent K (played, in the time-travel sequences, by Brolin).
Brolin says his time with Jones on the sets of ‘In the Valley of Elah’ and ‘No Country for Old Men’ helped him perfect his version of his co-star. But even with weeks of practice, he was never entirely comfortable doing Jones.
“I did lots and lots of practicing [in the months leading up to production],” he says. “I was just sitting there with Garage Band [recording myself] going, ‘Hey, how ya doin’? Hey, how ya doin’?’ — over and over, for days and months, thinking, ‘I’m going to sound like an idiot in this film.’ I was down in Mexico at one point with a buddy of mine and I was so frustrated, I got so drunk — the stress level was just so high. I never felt like I had it, and I still don’t.”
Will it work? It does seem like the success of ‘Men In Black 3’ hinges on the performance, though it’s entirely possible that the sequel coasts by on Smith’s inherent charms and the extraterrestrial creations of the great Rick Baker.
We’ll see when ‘Men In Black 3’ opens everywhere on May 25.