Toronto: Josh Brolin on Baking Peach Pies to Prepare for 'Labor Day' Role


Josh Brolin (CAA, Ziffren Brittenham) will narrate "Untamed Americas," a four-hour miniseries that explores wildlife spectacles in North, Central and South America, for National Geographic.

"I got good. I got good. I sent emails out about my pies," the "Gangster Squad" star told a presser Saturday for Jason Reitman's fifth film.

TORONTO - Josh Brolin donned an apron and perfected his pastry crust to prepare for the role of a convict who teaches Kate Winslet how to make peach pie from scratch in Jason Reitman's Labor Day.

"I got good. I got good. I sent emails out about my pies," Brolin told the film's press conference Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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His obsession with how to massage a crust and cut up peaches sprung from "abject fear" over a sexually-charged pie-baking scene with Winslet's single mother character in Paramount's upcoming Christmas release.

Reitman's film script, adapted from Joyce Maynard's 2009 novel about a divorced mother, her son, and an escaped felon, flagged the scene with "and then begins the greatest pie-making scene in cinema history."

"And I'm at home baking pies, throwing up," Brolin recalled.

There was a learning curve, with Brolin at first turning on the broiler rather than the oven to bake a pie that he burned on top and left cold on the bottom.

With practice, however, he arrived almost daily on set with pies for cast and crew.

"Josh became a little bit obsessive. He would get up at four in the morning and come to work with a box," Winslet recalled.

Reitman added that Brolin, whom he described as "a picture of masculinity," would don an apron at his cottage and excitedly discuss the day's crust issues or the juices he'd drawn from his pies, to better perform in an unlikely love story.


"It really was exciting at first, but at a certain point you'd see another pie and go running," Reitman reported.

After he'd shot his scene with Winslet, Brolin ended his on-set pie runs, which didn't go down well in some quarters.

"If you know anything about Massachusetts Teamsters, these are the most severe people on earth, and when I stopped bringing pies, they stopped talking to me," Brolin said.

By contrast, Winslet said she did far less to prepare for the role of Adele.

"I feel like I'm playing more of a part walking down a red carpet than a character with her face covered with sweat," she told the presser.

"There's probably much more planning that goes into a red carpet outfit than what Adele might be wearing when she comes down the stairs in the morning and he insists she needs to try one of his scones," she added.

The Toronto International Film Festival continues to September 15.