Josh Brolin knew he was taking on a challenge when he signed on to play a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones in the time travel-themed “Men in Black 3.” But how ready was he for the challenge of Metro’s Time-Travel Pop Quiz?
1. First of all, how many gigawatts are required to energize the flux capacitor?
Um ... 360,000?
I’m glad I got that so wrong. [Laughs]
2. While time-traveling, can you interact with your past or future self, or would that cause a catastrophic event?
It would cause a catastrophic event. But Boris the Animal does [in “Men in Black 3”]. I just know that time-travel, as is understood by Hollywood and their storytelling, has been if you in any way affect the past that you go into, that it always has a negative effect on the future. That’s what I’ve been told, at least.
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3. Speaking of:?Say you travel back in time and you arrive standing alone in front of a young Adolf Hitler. What do you do?
Befriend. That’d be the best way to get in there, and then you can detour him. Befriend and detour.
4. What kind of adventure did Bill and Ted have?
An excellent one. When I met Keanu Reeves, that was the first thing I said. I was like, “Bill and Ted, right on dude!” I did “SNL” recently and we did “The Californians,” and I think that was what I did, some version of guys I grew up with and Keanu Reeves in that movie. It’s funny because they came up to me during rehearsal and were like, “We’d like you to do more of a California voice.” And I said, “Dude, honestly, being from California, I’m doing the only voice that’s California. Everybody else is doing the funny version. I think I’m just doing the accurate version.”
5. In “Terminator,” is Arnold Schwarzenegger a cyborg, an alien or a wacky twin?
A cyborg, of course. But a different type of cyborg than Robert Patrick in No. 2, right? What’s it called?
The T-1000. Very good, man. You know your stuff.
6. Which movie, in your opinion, gets time-travel the most right?
God, man. “Time Bandits” by Terry Gilliam was probably my favorite time-travel movie that I’ve seen, just because it was so fantastical, and Terry Gilliam is such a brilliant director. Like “Brazil” and “Fear and Loathing,” the lenses that he uses are so warped and all that. It’s brilliant. I like that movie a lot.
A lot of people say “Back to the Future.”
To me, “Time Bandits” was a different level of it. “Back to the Future” is fun and kind of like, [in a Valley Girl voice] “Oh my God, it’s so much fun! He’s skateboarding and it’s a rocket! Oh my God!” [Laughs] I haven’t seen “Time Bandits” in a while, I need to watch it again.
7. OK, you can only make one time-travel trip. Would you rather go forward or backward?
Wow. That’s a great question. Forward, for sure. Selfishly, I’d like to backward because there’s a lot of people that I would love to meet, you know? Obviously a lot of very important people from your Jesuses to your Mahatma Gandhis to the obvious. But if you go forward, you can see what actually is the consequence of what we’re doing now, come back and actually have proof that will happen if we don't change. But then everyone will think you’re crazy, of course. But I already have to deal with that anyway, so that’s really par for the course for me. [Laughs]
8. I’ll give you a chance to redeem yourself on the gigawatts question if you can tell me how fast the DeLoreon in “Back to the Future” has to go to travel through time.
Oh God, I know this. Sixty-five?
F—! I wouldn’t get very far.