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Josh Brolin and Sean Penn struggled through Gangster Squad brawl scene

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Dec 20, 2012 | 12:15pm EST

The No Country for Old Men star portrays Sargeant John O'Mara in the period film, about cops who are trying to keep Los Angeles free of gangsters during the 1940s and '50s, and one scene featured a bust up between Brolin and Penn's character, mobster Mickey Cohen.

The brawl put the pair's fitness to the test, and Brolin admits it was made all the more difficult because Penn had not perfected the fight choreography.

He says, "The fight I did with Sean Penn (was the most challenging scene). He didn't rehearse as much as I did so his fists were flying wildly during the fight, hoping they (camera operators) got something that was usable. It was a tough fight and I love the way that it turned out, but I think for both of us being the current and ex smokers that we are, that was the most challenging on an oxygen level."

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