NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t





The new film Inherent Vice satirizes over-complicated detective story plots by having an especially over-complicated plot of its own. It’s a Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel. “It’s so dense,” co-star Josh Brolin tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I mean, Pynchon will be following some linear structure and then suddenly he’ll take a big bong hit and go off on some tangent that still, you realize, eventually comes around and actually is connected in various ways.” The film is set in 1970 in a fictional California beach town where a burned out hippie private eye, played by Joaquin Phoenix, squares off with a Los Angeles Police Department detective, played by Brolin. Brolin’s character, Lt. Detective “Bigfoot” Bjornsen, who hates hippies and calls himself a “renaissance cop,” is investigating a murder and kidnapping case. The son of actor James Brolin, Josh Brolin started his film career when he was 17 in The Goonies. After that he played gay ATF agent in the comedy Flirting with Disaster. In the film Milk, he was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Dan White, the San Francisco supervisor who shot supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. But Brolin says he was a “blue-collar actor” who was always looking for his next job before his role in No Country for Old Men, where his character was pursued by a demented hit man. Now, he says, he gets to act for directors like Paul Thomas Anderson. “I find the experience so much more familial than anything else I’ve ever experienced regarding film,” he says. Brolin has often played extreme personalities. He attributes that more to his imagination than his experience as a teenager hanging out with people who were into extremes — music, sports and drugs. “I don’t think acting is experience,” he says. “I could be wrong. I could be completely wrong, but I think that acting is a very active imagination and the ability to find conviction, total conviction, in your imagination. That’s what it is for me now, at least.” MORE