Josh Brolin Thanos

Who’s the most intelligent character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Is it an inventor like Tony Stark or Hank Pym? Maybe a science genius like Bruce Banner? Or how about Shuri, the tech-savvy wunderkind of Wakanda? Nope – in a new interview, Josh Brolin says it’s Thanos, and we’re going to see that intelligence on full display in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War.

In a new interview, Brolin talks about Thanos’ mindset, the juxtaposition between his jacked appearance and his intellect, and more. Check out the latest Josh Brolin Thanos comments below.

Earlier this week, we wrote about some new details about Marvel’s big bad – namely, that he’s the lone survivor of a now-extinct planet, and that he’s actually trying to save the universe. (Albeit in a twisted way: he wants to obliterate half of it to save the other half.)

Thanos is Clearly a Villain, But You Feel For Him, Too

Now, Entertainment Weekly spoke with Brolin about his take on the character. He explains that he knew nothing about Thanos before he accepted the role, and the character in the movie is singularly focused on his quest. “But at the same time you feel for him,” the actor says. “You want to write him off as insane, and yet what he’s doing makes sense, if you break it down.”

In Thanos’ mind, his actions will bring order to everything: “You think of overpopulation and killing half the universe in order to save the other half and all this kind of stuff. You have this struggle watching him. It’s this love-hate thing, you know?”

Looks Can Be Deceiving

When the EW reporter mentioned that Thanos looks like a Neanderthal, Brolin mentions how that perception could work to the character’s advantage:

“You see this lughead and this guy who you pigeonhole right from the first cosmetic reaction to him. And what I see is this in this guy’s eyes. This super, super, super intelligence. There’s this constant contrasting thing about this Neanderthalic lughead who’s way more intelligent than anybody else in the movie, by far.”

Avengers Infinity War Photos

Father of the Year

The actor was asked if the Mad Titan feels any affection at all for his (kidnapped) daughters, Nebula and Gamora, and Brolin gave a surprising answer:

“Yeah. I do think he does. When you see the relationship with Gamora and you see that evolves, God I wish I could tell you. I can’t! When [directors Joe and Anthony Russo] came up to me after we had done maybe three quarters of the film, they said, “It wasn’t necessarily intended that you feel for this guy as much as you do.” Obviously he has a grand plan, like somebody who’s pulling in kids for their own selfish bloodshed. But he has a capacity to love very much and very deeply.”

Surprise: Thanos Didn’t Have a Happy Childhood

Brolin also explained why Thanos is so damaged:

“He’s different from his family. They’re all Titans and they all look similar, but he was born deformed. You see how he grew up, you see he was like the Quasimodo of this time, or if you’ve ever read Perfume [Patrick Süskind ‘s 1985 novel about a serial killer who craves beautiful scenes but is disgusted by the smell of humanity], it’s a great parallel to Thanos. He stuck out. He was an anomaly. He was a freak. And that lent to this apparent insanity.”

I wonder if any of the Avengers will suggest that the big purple guy just needs to sit down and talk things out with someone? Just make sure it’s not Bruce Banner – the post-credits scene of Iron Man 3 proved he’s not always the best listener.

Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on April 27, 2018.

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