Onesies and Thanos bibles: Josh Brolin’s prep for Avengers: Infinity War was... quite something

It’s not all gauntlets and roses playing Big Bads, you know. Take Josh Brolin, for example. Logic would dictate he could just stroll in as Thanos on Avengers: Infinity War, pick up his pay cheque and leave. He (and Marvel) went beyond that, however. 

Speaking to our sister publication Total Film magazine, Brolin gave the lowdown on just what he had to do to ensure he was primed and ready for his opening salvo as the Mad Titan.

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“It turned out to be one of the most favourite jobs I’ve ever had,” reveals Brolin. It didn’t start off that way though. For one thing, Marvel gave him some homework to do – one that would make even the biggest comic book fan shake in their boots.

“They sent me over this bible, just all this information. It was a massive thing, and yet even that was maybe a sixteenth of what there was to learn. The comic book and Marvel world is not only extremely emotional to people, but so in-depth. There’s no way to learn it all. But you try to do what you can, like with any role, and you want to earn your place on set. I started reading and I was in awe.”

Converting Josh Brolin to a big ol’ Marvel geek? Check. But then comes the physical side of the role, and I’m not just talking about piling on the muscle (though that certainly played a huge part in the process). I’m talking fitting into onesies, people. Come on, we’ve all been there.

“I thought, ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’” he laughs. “Because you’re in a onesie, man. You’ve got to walk around in a onesie and imagine yourself as an actor with some impact,” Brolin says about the special effects.

“I’m Josh, who’s got dots on him, and a onesie, and a helmet-cam, and I’ve got Scarlett [Johansson, as Black Widow] right there, and I’ve got Brie [Larson, Captain Marvel], and Don Cheadle [War Machine], and [Chris] Hemsworth [Thor], and Chris Evans [Captain America], and [Robert] Downey [Iron Man]… I’m sitting there and I’m looking like I look, which is not 700lb and purple and eight feet tall.”

The magic of the movies, there, stripped back to its fantastically embarrassing core. 

Marvel sending daunting dossiers? Thanos squeezing into an ill-fitting get-up? That’s only part of the story. For the rest, you’ll have to pick up the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves on April 6. You can also subscribe here.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.