Josh Brolin guesstimates he ate probably 200 dumplings for ‘Oldboy’

Josh Brolin plays a man mysteriously imprisoned in Spike Lee's version of the South Korean cult classic "Oldboy." Credit: Getty Images
Josh Brolin plays a man mysteriously imprisoned in Spike Lee’s version of the South Korean cult classic “Oldboy.”
Credit: Getty Images

The catering staff at the press junket for Spike Lee’s update on “Oldboy” has laid out a spread almost entirely made up of different kinds of dumplings, and Josh Brolin does not think that’s very funny. (The dish features prominently in the film as one of the only things Brolin’s character is allowed to eat during his mysterious 20-year imprisonment.) “I think it’s a dumb thing. It’s a marketing ploy. Who wants dumplings for breakfast?” he scoffs.

Food, as it turns out, has been factoring into Brolin’s film roles so much that he’s growing weary of discussing the extreme amounts of ingestion that go into presenting eating on-screen. “I ate, I’d say, probably 200 dumplings or something like that,” he reveals. “But I’ve done that. In [the upcoming] ‘Inherent Vice’ I eat chocolate-covered frozen bananas. In ‘W.’ I ate sandwiches, and I ate 18 sandwiches in one scene. I seem to be the food guy.”

“Oldboy” also asked a lot of Brolin’s body in that his character goes from a bloated alcoholic to a lean and mean tool of vengeance after his imprisonment. Of course, he didn’t have 20 years to pull off the transition. “I like the idea of theater. If you’re going to do it, do it. That was something that I’ll never, ever do again,” he says of getting the bloated look out of the way first. “It was more about water retention, so I gained 28 pounds in 10 days, and then I lost 22 pounds in two and a half days. I’ll never do it again because it killed my body. I was rehearsing the fight at the same time, which was not smart. So I pulled a lot of muscles and stuff that I’m still dealing with now.”

That fight he’s talking about is quite a doozy, an update on the original Korean film’s single-take tracking shot of the film’s hero taking out an army of goons with just his bare hands and a carefully deployed hammer. Obviously for the remake they had to up the ante a bit.

“That was five weeks of prep, and it was difficult, to say the least,” Brolin says. “The fight, I think, is at least three times longer than the original fight. I was having a really tough time in the beginning, and then I panicked. And then I started working out a lot — like two hours in the morning and two hours at night between 12-hour days. So I wasn’t sleeping a lot, which I think lent to the movie, too, because I was more emotional, I was more on edge, I felt more exposed, vulnerable, whatever.”

That level of self-abuse paid off, apparently. “We did it in seven takes, and the seventh take was the one,” he remembers. “I walked away after that and had a little moment to myself, had some tears and was just happy that a 45-year-old dude was able to pull that off. It was a geriatric moment that I had.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.