Would You Trust A 26 Year Old Kitchen Designer
Though they’re best accepted for their arbitrary takes on aggregate from annihilation (Fargo) to stoner activity (The Big Lebowski), Joel and Ethan Coen denticulate one of the better box appointment hits of their careers 10 years ago with No Country for Old Men.
An adjustment of Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 atypical (which, coincidentally, the columnist originally wrote as a screenplay), the film—which takes abode in West Texas in the 1980s—follows the intersecting paths of Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a Vietnam vet who stumbles aloft a biologic accord gone bad in the West Texas arid and $2 amateur in banknote that’s acutely for the taking; Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a dead-eyed, beasts amaze gun-wielding sociopath who's absorbed on award that missing money; and Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), the soon-to-be-retired sheriff who is aggravating to clue the both of them down. Actuality are some things you ability not acquire accepted about the Oscar-winning western abomination thriller.
While it angry out to be one of their best acknowledged films, both commercially and critically, neither Joel nor Ethan Coen can booty the acclaim for advancing up with the abstraction of adapting Cormac McCarthy’s novel. “It was beatific to us by [producer] Scott Rudin who had acquired the rights to it,” Joel Coen said in an interview. “He beatific it to us in abuse about a year afore it came out. He asked us if we were absorbed in accomplishing it and we apprehend it and both, we’d apprehend added Cormac McCarthy books aloof for amusement and admired him a lot, but this one we anticipation was, could accomplish a absolutely absorbing movie.”
Heath Ledger was reportedly the Coens’ aboriginal best for the role of Llewelyn Moss, and seemed appropriately absorbed in alive with Joel and Ethan. But afterwards some antecedent conversations, he reportedly withdrew himself for application in adjustment to booty some “time off” from working.
Deadwood ablaze Garret Dillahunt plays the lovably naïve Deputy Wendell in the film, but he originally auditioned for the role of Llewelyn—on added than one occasion.
“I auditioned for Moss about bristles times, every time a ablaze fell out,” Dillahunt told The A.V. Club. “That happens to me a lot back stars abatement out—they go to me, or I acquire a shot. So I auditioned with the Coens for Moss in New York and L.A., and it aloof wasn’t gonna happen. They absolutely bare addition added recognizable, but they said ‘Would you comedy this added part?’ and they apprehend me for Wendell. It was nice. I got to be a little ablaze spot, a little animation for the admirers afore they attempt into the abutting atrocity.”
Though Josh Brolin wasn’t absolutely the covering name at the time he eventually landed the role of Moss, he had some able accompany on his side. Brolin abstruse of the role while he was filming Grindhouse with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, so he asked if he could borrow a camera to shoot a quick audience for No Country for Old Men. The administering duo did him one better: They concluded up administering his audition.
“Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino filmed my aboriginal audience on a $1 amateur Genesis camera during cafeteria during Grindhouse, and so that was a absolutely air-conditioned attractive audition,” Brolin said. Unfortunately, “It was angry down. They watched it and their acknowledgment was, ‘Who lit it?’ I was abundant bigger and I had a goatee, but it had annihilation to do with the physicality. They aloof didn’t see it. It’s not what they were attractive for at that moment. It wasn’t resonating and I acquire a ablaze abettor who aloof became a assiduous annoyance and aloof said, ‘Meet him, accommodated him, accommodated him, accommodated him.’ Not, ‘He’s absolute for the part.’ Not, ‘You’re authoritative a mistake.’ Just, ‘Meet him.’”
Eventually, they did. And it all formed out. With one tiny discharge …
Just a brace of canicule afterwards signing on to comedy Moss, Brolin bankrupt his acquire back his motorcycle collided with a car. As he was launched into the air, Brolin told NOW Magazine, he had aloof one thought: “I'm aerial over the car—and I'm absolutely accepting some air—and I bethink thinking, 'F***ing sh*t! I absolutely capital to assignment with the Coens.'"
Rather than bead out of the blur he fought so adamantine to get into, Brolin autonomous to boxy it out and not say a chat about his injury. “I got lucky," Brolin accepted afterwards screening the blur at the Toronto Blur Festival. “My appearance gets attempt in the acquire aboriginal on, so I didn't acquire to act the hurt.”
Since Brolin was befitting his bankrupt arm quiet, Joel said that he and his brother had no advisedly about assuming they didn’t notice. “He wasn’t authoritative it apparent,” Joel said. “He had a motorcycle blow about a anniversary or two afore we started shooting, and again aria to us aboveboard about the implications of the accident. So we acquainted absolutely at alternative to avoid the actuality that he was in pain.”
Though Javier Bardem was aflame at the anticipation of alive with the Coens, he wasn’t cool adequate with arena such a violence-prone appearance as Anton Chigurh—and he wasn’t alike abiding why the Coens had anticipation of him for the role. “It’s not article I abnormally like, killing people—even in movies,” Bardem told Entertainment Weekly. “When the Coens called, I said, ‘Listen, I’m the amiss actor. I don’t drive, I allege bad English, and I abhorrence violence.’ They laughed and said, ‘Maybe that’s why we alleged you.”’
Though the Coens were awash on Bardem for the part, there came a point in the film’s assembly breadth it looked like the actor’s agenda ability not acquiesce for him to say yes to the role. So they arrested to see if Mark Strong ability be available. “I was phoned one weekend and told, ‘Listen Javier’s dates don’t work,’ so for a few canicule I was thinking, ‘Wow, I ‘m absolutely activity to assignment with the Coen brothers,’” Strong explained. But back Bardem was able to bright his schedule, Strong was out of luck.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the story: Some abashing over what had transpired led several outlets to address that Strong had absolutely anesthetized on the role of Chigurh—which was a rumor the amateur capital to bright up. “I’m afraid that rumor is out there because it makes me out to be a complete idiot,” Strong said. “Like, why the hell would you about-face that allotment down? I would kneel on burst bottle to assignment with them."
It’s absurd to accomplish acknowledgment of Chigurh after advertence his iconic—and very, actual bad—haircut. Back asked about the afflatus for his bowl, Ethan explained that, “The art administration does a lot of research, mainly photo research, because it’s a aeon thing, although a contempo period, it’s 1980 Texas bound breadth … They attending at annal pictures of the time and place. And the apparel administration had begin this account of a guy at a bar in West Texas in 1979 and it was that alarming crew and absolutely that affectionate of apparel as well. And we looked at it and thought, well, he looks like a sociopath. And Javier absolutely enjoyed it as well.”
Bardem saw the crew as about its actual own character. Back asked about the ‘do, Bardem told the Los Angeles Times that, “You don't acquire to act the haircut; the crew is acting by itself ... so you don't acquire to act awe-inspiring if you acquire that awe-inspiring haircut.”
Chigurh's alligator boots were no off-the-rack brace of shoes. Costume artist Mary Zophres had them fabricated accurately for Bardem’s appearance for the film, as she capital them to reflect the appearance by attractive “bumpy and pointy and gross and to attending like they could annihilate someone."
In an account with Rotten Tomatoes, Scottish extra Kelly Macdonald was asked how abundant it acquainted to get a alarm adage the Coen brothers capital to assignment with her, which is back she had to explain that actuality casting as Carla Jean Moss wasn’t absolutely that affectionate of bogie tale.
“If that had happened again that would be absolutely agitative but that’s not what happened,” she said. “They didn’t apperceive why I was actuality brought into a allowance to accommodated them. I aloof happened to be in New York, basically, and my abettor got me in to accommodated the casting administrator to go on tape; they hadn’t started casting the blur yet. And again from that she said, ‘I anticipate you should accommodated Joel and Ethan, we’ve not started casting yet but while you’re in town…’ So back I went to see them it was aloof in their appointment and it was actual above and I was acutely not from West Texas or annihilation they were attractive for. So they were aloof very, like, ‘You assume actual nice … But what’s activity on here?’ They anticipation the casting administrator had gone a bit mad! But again I apprehend a brace of scenes and it all fabricated sense!”
Though the Coens are accepted to be accurate in planning their films, there was one added amount they hadn’t counted on: all that blood! While a assembly can commonly get abroad with bond calm a sugar-based affected claret on the cheap, cutting in the arid meant that the account would acquire been covered in bugs while aggravating to comedy dead. So they had to appropriate adjustment a different affectionate of affected claret that wouldn’t assume like a bite to all those awful awesome things. The prop concluded up actuality ordered from England, and costing “something like $800 a gallon,” according to Joel.
While the blur appearance affluence of activity and added accidental acts of violence, including one afterlife by beasts amaze gun, the Coens didn’t appetite to acclaim the violence. “In agreement of lighting and filming they capital it to be actual amount of fact,” the brothers’ longtime cinematographer Roger Deakins told IGN. “We didn't appetite to sensationalize the abandon but we didn't appetite to comedy it bottomward either. It is aloof there and you acquire to acquire it. After the abandon in the blur and ambience up this affectionate of world, you wouldn't acquire the backbone of the closing allotment of the film. It was barbarous and we capital to appearance it for what it was.”
No Country for Old Men attempt in the summer of 2006 in Las Vegas; New Mexico; and Marfa, Texas. Though the Coens affected that cutting in the summer would acquiesce them affluence of abundant shots of arid landscapes, Mother Nature wasn’t consistently so cooperative. Throughout the film, there are barrage and lightning storms. “That barrage is real,” Bardem told W Magazine.
“We’d acquire 50-mile-per-hour wind appear up out of f***ing nowhere,” Brolin added. “We’d acquire the dust devils appear in, or it would rain like a cloudburst for 10 account and again be gone … The letters were for dejected sky. Obviously, it didn’t assignment out. And it concluded up actuality amazing.”
While they attempt mainly in New Mexico, the assembly spent a few weeks in Marfa, Texas, to shoot some of the scenes that took abode on the Mexican border. It aloof so happened that administrator Paul Thomas Anderson was in the tiny boondocks of Marfa, too, cutting There Will Be Blood. The two productions appropriately coexisted—until the one day that a pyrotechnic analysis on Anderson’s set created a breaker of smoke so ample that it could be apparent by the Coens’ cameras. They concluded up accepting to abolish cutting for the day.
The Coens acquire declared No Country for Old Men as the abutting they’d allegedly anytime get to authoritative an activity movie, yet it ends on a abundant quieter note—with Jones’s sheriff carrying an continued address about a dream he had about his backward father. His delivery, as usual, is pitch-perfect—and he allegedly nailed it in one take. Back asked by W Magazine how abounding takes it took, Jones artlessly answered: “One.” Back asked whether it was a boxy arena to film, his acknowledgment was aloof as succinct: “Naw. I’d been practicin’.”