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Josh Brolin like a 'kid in the candy store' directing 'Outer Range' episode

"I did the work that was called for. I made sure that I wasn't going to embarrass myself or our show or Amazon," Brolin told UPI.

Josh Brolin's "Outer Range" returns for a second season Thursday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 5 | Josh Brolin's "Outer Range" returns for a second season Thursday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, May 16 (UPI) -- Actor Josh Brolin says decades of working with some of cinema's best directors gave him the knowledge and confidence to helm a Season 2 episode of his sci-fi/western/family drama, Outer Range.

"I enjoyed it so much!" Brolin, 56, told UPI about his directorial debut in Episode 6 during a recent Zoom interview.

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"I am very lucky to have the support that I did," he said. "I was like a kid in the candy store. I did a lot of prep work. I did the work that was called for. I made sure that I wasn't going to embarrass myself or our show or Amazon."

The Marvel-movie and Goonies icon said he also relied on everything he witnessed while acting for A-list directors and producers like Ridley Scott on American Gangster, Denis Villeneuve on Dune and Sicario, the Coen Brothers on No Country for Old Men and True Grit, Oliver Stone on W and Gus Van Sant on Milk.

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"I trusted what I learned from great people whom I've worked with. I've had a lot of influences that I've paid attention to, not just as an actor, but as a storyteller," he said.

"I feel good about the episode. I feel like I had a lot of random interests that made no sense in my life for 50-some-odd years that I was suddenly able to funnel into one place," Brolin added.

"It was like an, 'Oh, that's what it's for!' moment. i really, really had a good time and people were trusting of me, which meant a lot."

Season 2 of the show about Wyoming rancher Royal Abbott (Brolin) and his family premieres Thursday on Prime Video.

The new episodes deal with the fallout from Royal's revelation to his wife, Cecelia (Lili Taylor), that he traveled as a boy from the 1880s through the portal on their property. They're about to lose that property because their accused-murderer son, Perry (Tom Pelphrey), vanishes into the portal, and the bail they raised by mortgaging their ranch is forfeited.

Brolin said Royal is vulnerable at the top of the season.

"He's put himself out there to be honest and and to kind of reveal all these things that he's been holding back and that he's been [conflicted] about. He's hoping that it's gonna be celebrated and it's all gonna find its equilibrium really quick, and that's kind of the opposite of what happens," the actor said.

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"As anybody who knows that when something is kept from somebody for a very long time, especially several in a family unit, there's a recalibration that needs to take place, and that comes with a lot of chaotic and colorful behavior."

Royal also hopes that by sharing his secret with Cecelia, the person he loves most in the world, he will be able to share the burden that comes with living a lie.

Unfortunately, Cecilia isn't thrilled to hear his story.

"She doesn't trust him after that, and she challenges him a lot. He becomes more challenged in the relationship with imogen [Poots'] character and the relationship with his sons," Brolin said. "All of it gets thrown into this vortex of uncertainty."

The actor said it has been fascinating to ruminate on how responsible Royal should be for his decisions since he was thrown into such an extraordinary situation at a young age.

"Can you blame him because he comes from this horrible thing that happened to him as a child?" he asked rhetorically.

"He basically jumps in this hole to commit suicide. He gets thrown out at a different time. He gets adopted by this family. This lucky, lucky, amazing thing has happened. He starts to get into this kind of stoic shame -- this idea of a man being a man, back in the day," he added.

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"I love that [the show] kind of throws that on its head. It's like, 'Look, if you're living an idea of something, it's probably not gonna work out.' So, when you resort to a more organic version of yourself, you're probably gonna have an easier time."

Season 2 closely examines Royal and Perry's strained relationship.

"It's really emotional, super-uncomfortable," Brolin said.

"Perry is the type of character who, rightly so, takes everything extremely personally. He is the 'Charles Atlas' character, someone who holds up whatever information he is given, he holds it and he multiplies it psychically. I think that relationship is very hard."

The real-life father of four children -- who is the son of actor James Brolin and stepson of singer Barbra Streisand -- said he picked the brain of his own oldest, Trevor, to try to understand the tension between Royal and Perry and how they tried to overcome it.

"I have a great relationship with my son, who is 36, but we went through [difficult] times," Brolin said.

"I would call him and say, 'Remember when you were 13 and you did this thing?' and he'd say, 'Yeah, do you remember when you did that thing?' and we can talk about it openly now," Brolin added. "You utilize everything that you can."

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Lewis Pullman, Tamara Podemski, Noah Reid, Matthew Maher and Will Patton co-star on the show.

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