Spoilers are Hollywood’s most precious currency in today’s environment. Not even the actors are told everything about a production until the time comes to actually shoot the climactic revelations. Brolin revealed to Comicbook.com, “I didn’t know what I was doing.”
The director, Angus MacLane, and executives would demand that the 81-year-old actor repeat his lines until they were satisfied. Even if he didn’t know what it was.
“They steered me through this session at Pixar, at the sound studios, but they were all on a monitor from San Francisco, five executives and the director. And even on the second session, the second day of recording, and there were five different days of recording that may have run four hours each. I would do corrections from the first one because I didn’t quite get it and they would give me examples.”
This presented a considerable obstacle for Brolin, who claims he is “not good at being directed” and prefers to make his own decisions about what he will do with his characters. It came as a shock to him that the people in command of Lightyear were unconcerned with him having so little information on his role.
“It was really interesting to do it that way because that was okay with them. That’s how they want it and they didn’t want me to have any info about what I was doing really. So, I had to surmise as I went along, you know? As I did vocal things and all horror and all this stuff, I began to say, ‘Oh, I see by what he’s saying,’ and, ‘I see by the attitude,’ but I was definitely directed, you know?”
The plot-twist of Lightyear, which is a significant element of the film, might be seen to justify the secrecy. Whether or not this all contributed to Brolin’s Zurg performance when viewers see Lightyear now in theaters, audiences can decide.