Josh Brolin the unexpected action star in Deadpool sequel

Josh Brolin is lifting up his t-shirt to show me his stomach. This unsolicited flashing of the flesh is to demonstrate the effects of the doughnut binge he went on after he finished filming the highly-anticipated Deadpool sequel.

There is a distant hint of a dad bod lurking under the 50-year-old’s black t-shirt, but it’s unconvincing. He is still in undeniably great shape.

And that is because Brolin is the unexpected action star of the moment. It will be close to impossible to walk into a cinema this spring and not see him on screen.

He plays the huge, purple villain, Thanos, in the box office behemoth, Avengers: Infinity War, as well as Cable in Deadpool 2, not to mention his return as federal agent, Matt Graver, in the Sicario sequel.

So, who could have predicted that Brolin, best-known for films like No Country For Old Men, Inherent Vice, and Milk, would end up in two comic book movies in quick succession?

“Nobody!” he laughs.

“Especially my agent, who is very happy about it right now.

“They were completely different to anything I had done before. I have always mixed it up and whatever roles I’ve chosen have been different, but I think that these three coming together in one summer [is crazy].”

But joining two big franchises required a crash course in comic book vernacular.

“I do get all the references in Avengers now. I didn’t see it until the premiere and I missed a lot, because I didn’t realise the things that happened were going to happen, so I got uncomfortable in the theatre.

“I didn’t know how people were going to react, after the movie was over. Then, my wife and I went to another theatre, a small theatre, and we saw it again and you pick up a lot of things.”

He looks bashful.

“You don’t want to say that you go to see your own film a lot, because it sounds horrible, but I’m actually excited about seeing it again.”

His father, the actor James Brolin, who is now married to Barbra Streisand, has already caught a showing.

“I talked to him the next day and I said, ‘What did you think?’ and he said, ‘I didn’t get it’, which I thought was pretty good. Keeps you humbled man. Keeps you down to the ground. Not under the ground, just right at ground level.”

Brolin got in the best shape of his life to played the ripped Cable.

“I did put in some work, but Hugh Jackman always stays perfect, like Ryan Reynolds [costar]. I’m a guy that when the movie is over, I just go right to the doughnut shop.”

And so that brings us back to the lifting-up of the shirt, to show off the effects of those doughnuts.

“It’s not that I can go to the doughnut shop when it’s over, it’s that I can’t help but run to the doughnut shop,” he says.

“It was like I had smoked crack. I went for two doughnuts and then I left and I didn’t even know that I had turned around, bought another three doughnuts, had those, then had two more doughnuts after that.”

But the time will come when he has to get ripped all over again, when he reprises the role for the X-Force movie.

And this time, he will be aiming to get even buffer.

“I maintain right now. I don’t really watch what I eat, but I maintain and then, when we get back into it, there is a whole new plan. We want to go a little bit bigger; it will be fun,” he says.

“I’ve never done this kind of body-sculpting before, as lame as it is to talk about and as embarrassed as I feel talking about it right now.

“I know it’s good for you, it’s fun doing it and I have a great trainer, Justin Lovato, but when you don’t eat sugar and you have to weigh all your food and you have to be at the gym three hours a day, it’s only fun for a little while.”

Laura Harding

Deadpool 2 is in cinemas across Ireland now.

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