Cinephiles everywhere love hearing about the castings that never were. Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly and Stuart Townsend in Lord Of The Rings are probably two of the most famous versions of the story. But Josh Brolin, who is promoting his Yellowstone with a hole show, Outer Range, dropped a fascinating bit of trickery by the casting gods during a recent appearance on Dax Sheppard’s Armchair Expert.
According to Brolin, his big break into leading man roles in 2007's No Country For Old Men almost didn’t happen. The Coen brothers originally cast Heath Ledger in the role of Llewelyn Moss, but Ledger dropped out because he wanted a break.
“I know they were really frustrated and they were looking everywhere,” Josh Brolin said. “I don’t know if you knew this, but Heath Ledger was supposed to do that role. It wasn’t that he died, he pulled out of the role. He was like, ‘I don’t want to work right now.’”
Brolin’s the linchpin of the whole production. But it’s worth considering what someone like Ledger, in between Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight, could have brought to the role. For his part, Brolin brought a broken arm. Days after being cast, the actor was in a collision on his motorcycle. “Two days later, I was riding my motorcycle, I tee-boned a car, and I was flying in the air thinking, ‘Holy shit, I really wanted to work with the Coen brothers.”
Brolin entered production with his arm in a sling, but it didn’t hurt the film. Moss gets shot in the movie, and they were able to work around the injury. So what’s the lesson here? If you’re going to get cast in a Coen brothers movie, make sure you adjust your injury schedule to fit the character.
[via The Playlist]