TORONTO - A "bromance" blossomed on the set of "The Brothers Bloom," says Adrien Brody, who plays Mark Ruffalo's sibling in the comical con caper out this Friday in Toronto.
"I do feel close to Mark," the Oscar winner said during an interview at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, where the globetrotting plot-twister screened. "I felt very close when we were working together."
"We grew up kind of hitting the streets together. I mean, Mark and I auditioned for things together when I was 22 or so - I remember reading with him for something - so we've been doing the same thing, struggling in New York and going to L.A., and I think there's a mutual respect for one another.
"And he's also talented, and I think obviously chemistry and those things are important, but when you're working with talented actors, a lot of that comes with it because you're playing off of something that's genuine."
Brody, 36, plays the younger, submissive brother to Stephen Bloom (Ruffalo, 41), with whom he's been hatching elaborate, money-making schemes since childhood. Their latest target is an eccentric heiress (Rachel Weisz, Oscar winner for "The Constant Gardener").
Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (Oscar nominee for "Babel") plays the brothers' silent sidekick, Bang-Bang, who loves to blow things up.
The visually dazzling feature is just the second from American writer-director Rian Johnson after his 2005 cult hit "Brick."
Brody says he was in India shooting "The Darjeeling Limited" when he got "The Brothers Bloom" script and was impressed by its originality and subtlety.
"I'm very open to young filmmakers," said the native of Queens, New York, whose upcoming films include the sci-fi thriller "Splice" with Canadian actress Sarah Polley.
"Most of the films I've done have been independent movies and I've learned a lot from them. There is more freedom, somehow. The more it's one person's vision rather than run by a committee, the more original it tends to be."
Brody won a best-actor Academy Award in 2003 for his role in "The Pianist," becoming the youngest star to receive the honour in that category.
Since then, "most things are, I would say, better as far as career is concerned and life," he noted.
"It's made me understand a lot of things in other ways," he said.
"I'm very grateful for that recognition, especially because that movie meant so much to me and I think often actors do not necessarily get that kind of recognition in the moments that they really give everything to; they usually find it later in life. Not always, but for a relatively unknown actor as young as I am, I think it's rare. It's taught me a lot about continuing to find inspiration and be truthful to myself."
The honour also increased his "level of recognizability tenfold," something Brody said he wasn't entirely ready for.
"It wasn't something that I was necessarily intimidated of, but I didn't know what that was and that is the dilemma," he added.
"You can't say, 'Well you knew it was coming,' you know, when you see people sometimes having a hard time dealing with it ... you might theoretically understand it but you don't know what a huge transformation that is, and I'd been working for 17, 18 years by that time. But it is a very positive thing and I'm incredibly grateful for it."