Barbra Streisand's stepson explains why he'd rather do student films than return to the small screen

By Liane Bonin
Updated September 21, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Josh Brolin
Credit: Jim Sheldon
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If you’re hoping to see Josh Brolin put in a cameo appearance on his dad James’ (a.k.a. Mr. Streisand) show, ”Pensacola: Wings of Gold,” forget about it. Despite his three-year stint on the series ”The Young Riders,” the 31-year-old actor says he won’t return to the small screen under any circumstances. ”I’m not following in my father’s footsteps,” says Brolin, whose new noir thriller ”Best Laid Plans” is now in theaters.

That’s not to say the younger Brolin hasn’t had some juicy offers. ”There are a few people out there that I’ve met with, like Steven Bochco [”NYPD Blue”] and David E. Kelley [”Ally McBeal”] who wanted to do series with me,” he says. ”And I was really grateful for the interest, but I just know I would get bored with a series.”

Brolin has learned the limits of his attention span. ”’The Young Riders’ was the optimum thing for me,” he says, ”because we were in total control, and we were even out in the desert, which is my favorite place to be. And even then, after three years I wanted to hang myself. So I made the decision at one point that I was willing to give up my career totally not to do TV and hope that I can make it in film. And it worked.”

Well, not right away. ”I would go in for movie auditions, and they would go, ‘Isn’t this the dude from ”The Young Riders”?’ ‘Isn’t this the guy from ”The Goonies”?’ And they would cut me off,” Brolin recalls. It wasn’t until director David O. Russell chose Brolin for a part in 1996’s ”Flirting With Disaster” that he got his big break, despite heavy resistance from the heads of Miramax, who produced the film. ”I don’t mind saying this, but [Bob and Harvey] Weinstein absolutely did not want to hire me. It got down to the point where David Russell said, ‘I’m not willing to do the film if Josh Brolin doesn’t do it.’ He really fought for me.”

These days, Brolin admits he wouldn’t mind giving someone else a lucky break. ”I’m even willing to do a student film if somebody’s really good,” he says. Hey, we hear they’re still casting a couple of those ”Blair Witch Project” parodies….

Best Laid Plans

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