When I joined Cinematical and the wild, wild world of movie reporting, I expected all my "geek out" moments would be confined to my desk as they always had been -- watching trailers, the "first look" at a big comic or fantasy character, interviews, whatever. I didn't think I'd actually be sent out in the field to meet a man like Jonah Hex, and I'm pretty sure I won't ever get an introduction like this again. We'd been told earlier in the day that Josh Brolin was pretty sick, and might not be able to actually speak with us. At one point, they even called a doctor in, and we watched Brolin strip off all his gunbelts and duck into a Civil War tent to get checked out. (He returned with all his limbs. The set may have been historical, but the medical care was modern.)

But Brolin is nothing but professional and considerate. He's also mysterious. To this day, I'm not sure where he was lurking, but the set emptied for lunch, and he appeared at the far end of our camp. He clinked across the open field in that gunslinger gait you only expect to see in movies -- no rush, his face twisted in that ugly sneer. It was a High Plains Drifter entrance. As a fan of the character, I was inwardly jumping with joy, and I wish I could've taped the quirky, eerie moment to accompany this. But now you know how the interview started.

Is that [make-up] as painful as it looks?

Josh Brolin: Yep.