James Brolin, one of the most accomplished actors of the last half century, dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss numerous topics, including his new show, “Life in Pieces,” and his very private relationship with his very famous wife, Barbara Streisand.
How is it possible that two people as famous as Brolin and Streisand, who have been married since 1998, have managed to stay out of the tabloids and have such a healthy, private marriage?
Well, they avoid social media, for starters.
“I’m not on Facebook. I don’t’ Twitter,” Brolin said in-studio on Gio and Jones. “She recently started up on Instagram, but I think you can still remain distant on Instagram. Only she and Taylor Swift had platinum albums last year. That was it. So she’s basically still in the music business. And every once in awhile, if we get (into arguments) with each other, we’ll bring in a mediator. We know a guy – he’s a psychologist, but he’s just a great guy – and he’ll sit there with us on Sunday for an hour (and listen to us and talk). And (he’ll) go, ‘Don’t you realize what’s underneath that? She loves you.’ Both of us start tearing up and the next thing you know, whatever we were having a problem with just evaporates. . . . I’ve always kind of enjoyed these sessions. Ask me anything. I don’t care. I’ll tell you.”
Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones then steered the conversation toward “Life in Pieces,” a comedic sitcom that follows the lives of three generations of the same family. The plot unfolds in short-story format and is told from the points of view of various characters based on their own version and interpretation of events.
Brolin has been offered roles in various comedic sitcoms in recent years – “I don’t know why because I’m not funny,” he deadpanned – but he could tell immediately that “Life in Pieces” was different.
“I read this pilot of ‘Life in Pieces’ and I was really belly-laughing from the spine,” he said. “I’ll go, ‘That’s funny,’ and, ‘Yeah that’s funny.’ (Sometimes) a joke sneaks up on you – and ‘Life in Pieces’ has a lot of that.”
James Brolin plays family patriarch John Short, a role that has a personal connection to him.
“I’m sort of parodying my dad,” the 75-year-old Brolin said. “He was a smart guy. He went to Cal Tech. He, every day, would come home and at 5 o’clock he would pour himself a nice tall Mai Tai with an umbrella and a pineapple and pretend like he’s just celebrating the day. But he’d be just really typsy at night. Never drunk, just silly. So all four of us kids really started our own play to kind of deal with it. We grew up so facetious with each other, so irreverent about all kinds of subjects, and we still do it. So I had this kind of comedy base in my life when I grew up, but I never really got to use it in film all these years.”
Now, thanks to this sitcom, he can. The next episode airs Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.