"I'm not ashamed of the other stuff that I did; I was very OK with how things were going," says Josh Brolin, although he admits: "Suddenly, I'm in movies that people are excited about and that's a nice change." It was indeed. In the space of 12 months he went from being a jobbing actor to sought-after leading man as a result of roles in American Gangster, No Country For Old Men and W.
Born in Los Angeles on February 12, 1968, as the only son of US screen star James Brolin and his aspiring actress first wife Jane Cameron Agee, Josh Brolin was destined to be in show business. Although initially he'd not wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps, he was bitten by the acting bug after performing in a school production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
He made his movie debut in 1985 aged 17 when he landed the role of Brand Walsh in cult adventure-comedy The Goonies. After minor parts in a couple of films, however, he turned his back on cinema to concentrate on the small screen. And the work flowed steadily in, beginning with series, Private Eye, and followed by Prison For Children.
In 1989 sports drama Finish Line Josh teamed up with dad James for the first time, and went on to secure the relatively prominent role of Wild Bill Hickok in The Young Riders. After returning to movies with Mimic and The Hollow Man, Josh further expanded his TV credits with the lead in 2002 series Mister Stirling and, three years later, Into The West.
But it was appearances in Quentin Tarantino flick Grindhouse, Melinda and Melinda, Into The Blue and The Dead Girl which helped propel his career to a new level. Having starred opposite Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in critically acclaimed thriller American Gangster Josh said: "This is the movie I get to go head to head with the people I want to go head to head with."
With one blockbuster under his belt Josh, who is married to Diane Lane and has two children - Trevor and Eden - from a previous marriage to actress Alice Adair, went on to give an outstanding performance in Bafta and Oscar-winning Coen brothers' film No Country For Old Men. He'd originally been turned down for the part, and the new casting almost didn't make it onto the set after a motorbike accident left him with a broken collarbone. "I remember Ethan said to me 'What shoulder is it?'. I said, 'It's my right shoulder'. He said, 'Moss gets shot in the right shoulder. We'll be fine'."
Next up was a turn as George W Bush in W. "I had such a visceral reaction against it," admitted Josh. "But then I thought about it I didn't love the story but following a guy from 21 to 58 was an incredible challenge for an actor, that I didn"t think I could pull off." His portrayal of the US President won him worldwide praise and there was more acclaim to come when in 2009 he received an Oscar nod for his role as city supervisor and assassin Dan White in Sean Penn-vehicle Milk.