The Coen Brothers’ adaptation of “No Country for Old Men,” Cormac McCarthy’s bloody Texas-set crime saga, unspooled as part of Variety’s ongoing Screening Series Monday night. Cast members Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Kelly Macdonald discussed the making of the pic during a jovial Q&A at the Fine Arts Theater, moderated by Variety’s Brian Lowry.
Brolin humorously explored the similarities between his roles in “Country” and the recent “American Gangster,” both of which feature scenes of a mustachioed Brolin shooting a dog.
“What’s funny is that my mom is an animal activist,” he said, adding: “I’m the facial hair actor and the animal killer.”
The trio also described working for the famously introverted Coens.
“There’s not a lot of direction,” said Brolin. “There’s a little bit of tweaking. They put the onus on casting correctly, and then let the actors do what they do. The strangeness of the Coens is that they don’t argue, and they finish each other’s sentences. It’s a bit of a freak show. Social retardation. Thank God they have movies.”
Macdonald, who hails from Scotland, talked about tackling a thick Texas accent for the pic.
“I think doing a general U.S. accent is hard,” she admitted, “but when you’ve got something to get your hooks into it makes it easier. I’m not known for going over-the-top, and I think that was one of the reasons I got the part.”
Bardem, who plays the pic’s sociopathic killer, summed up his surprise at being cast thusly:
“I don’t drive. I don’t speak English, and I hate violence.”