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"I've never interviewed anyone who's quite this animated when speaking...do you ever worry that you're going to burn out?"
October 8, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

BBC Newsnight interviews [19:07] a hyperkinetic Russell Brand. posted by Burhanistan (52 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm already exhausted and I haven't even clicked the link...
posted by chasing at 8:27 PM on October 8, 2010


His interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air was pretty awesome.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:34 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, Burhanistan. Great interview.
posted by sharkfu at 8:35 PM on October 8, 2010


Amazing, I love his sentence construction. But imagine living with him. The exhaustion!
posted by russmaxdesign at 8:38 PM on October 8, 2010


Brand has always seemed to me like he's from the past, some flamboyant Dickens' character or something.
posted by davebush at 8:46 PM on October 8, 2010


From Wikipedia: "However, Brand was fired after coming to work dressed as Osama bin Laden the day after the 11 September 2001 attacks and bringing his drug dealer to the MTV studios."
posted by zippy at 8:50 PM on October 8, 2010


It was way better than Get Him To The Greek, I'll say that.

I didn't know he believed in god, or Robert Downey Jr. aftershave.
posted by defenestration at 8:58 PM on October 8, 2010


I'll always give brand credit for his, without being snooty, earnest eloquence (or verboseness). You get public schoolboys who can use the same language but it sounds innate, with Russell it sound like he had to learn to speak not for any class chip-on-shoulder-reason but an actual, nearly physical need, to have the tools to get the ideas out of his head.
He's also very funny.
posted by Damienmce at 9:03 PM on October 8, 2010 [12 favorites]


That was amazing, Paxman didn't land a punch, razor sharp.
posted by Damienmce at 9:09 PM on October 8, 2010


I always expect Russel Brand to be a total idiot, but I'm always surprised. My opinion might have been swayed since he started combing his hair.
posted by katillathehun at 9:29 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want whatever he is smoking and whatever he is reading. The guy is smart.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 9:40 PM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Terry Gross interview was fantastic.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:42 PM on October 8, 2010


Seems like a perfect fit for Trinculo.
posted by Tenuki at 9:44 PM on October 8, 2010


That was amazing, Paxman didn't land a punch, razor sharp.

I think Jezzer was quite taken with Mr Brand.

Russell on the other hand looked off his face or extremely nervous. I hope it's the latter because watching working class heroes get fucked up and dead is becoming older than I am.
posted by fullerine at 9:59 PM on October 8, 2010


He's going to be Arthur in the remake. Brought to you by the boys (my managers, in fact) who brought you Monster-in-Law (but also A History of Violence). I guess it could go either way.
posted by unSane at 9:59 PM on October 8, 2010


I really liked this, thanks. I agree with Damienmce's comment to the effect that his eloquence comes off as that of someone who's just insanely bright rather than some kind of poseur.
At the same time, I had a weird mix of reactions to his performance...it was sort of like watching Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch while saying really reasonable and insightful things.
posted by uosuaq at 10:24 PM on October 8, 2010


Didn't that dude crash a wedding or something?
posted by koeselitz at 10:33 PM on October 8, 2010


I want to hate him, but I can't. Given how cranky I tend to be, that's quite an accomplishment right there!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:23 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't care for him as a comedian but he's clearly an extremely smart man with a lot of ideas.
posted by mippy at 1:16 AM on October 9, 2010


Russel Brand always struck me as combining the class clown's need for approval and praise of his peers with the class geeks introspection, head for arcane details and need for approval and praise of those he considers to be authorities.

About half of what he does is hilarious, about half leaves me utterly cold, but I can never bring myself to wish him anything but the best in whatever he chooses to do.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:50 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


That was much much better than I expected, however he's been going on about doing something "good" for years and all we've had is a couple of average roles in crap Hollywood movies so take it all with a pinch of salt!
posted by dickasso at 2:12 AM on October 9, 2010


Russell on the other hand looked off his face or extremely nervous.

I didn't think he looked either. And I've got an awful lot of experience of both.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:17 AM on October 9, 2010


He also made a rather unexpected appearance at my work place. For context, the MSP is answering a questions about a Scottish independence referendum.
posted by nangua at 4:06 AM on October 9, 2010


His jacket is way too tight -- it's distracting!
posted by thinkpiece at 5:01 AM on October 9, 2010


wow he just made me a fan. which apparently isnt what he wants.
obligatory:
cocaine is a hell of a drug
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:02 AM on October 9, 2010


I was really impressed with his interview right up to the point where he admits to believing in god, and talking about a spiritual energy...I actually felt a bit betrayed.

I mean how can a man that smart buy into such a foolish idea of religion and god and "spiritual energy" especially after he just spent so much time talking about how things can appear appealing from the outside and then be without substance once you really get to know about them.

He should spend more time with Richard Dawkins and less time with David Lynch.
posted by stilgar at 6:00 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


He should spend more time with Richard Dawkins and less time with David Lynch.

yes if it is opposite day
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:09 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The way he boiled down Princess Diana's trajectory as virgin -> whore -> martyr and functioned as a replacement for religion was quite impressive. Perhaps it's not a new construction, but it hit me rather harder than I expected.

Beyond the terrific discussion of philosophy and the current modern condition, the thing I'm struck by is how intensely Brand appears to listen -- there's an interesting mind at work there.

I heard an interview with Brand at some point, I'm not sure it's the NPR one, where he talked about his childhood and was struck by the way he communicated his various struggles, his complex relationship with his mother, and how he's used all of it in a way that he's learned from, and now entertains with.
posted by artlung at 6:26 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's hysterical. I still can laugh watching him talk about Britney Spears & the elephant.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:15 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Russell Brand is a complete tosser. In the first six lines of the "Personal Life" section on his Wikipedia article we have the following:

Brand lives in Hampstead, London, with his cat, which he named after the singer Morrissey, of whom Brand is a big fan. He has been a vegetarian since the age of 14, and is a fan of football and a supporter of West Ham United; Brand says that his love of football is "intrinsically about my relationship with my father". He dresses in a flamboyant bohemian fashion, describing himself as looking like an "S&M Willy Wonka". He has bipolar disorder, and he has suffered from bulimia and went through a period of self-harm. Brand has shown interest in the Hare Krishna Movement and chants the Hare Krishna mantra for drug rehabilitation.
Brand is a former heroin and sex addict and a recovering alcoholic. He has had numerous run-ins with the police, having been arrested 11 times. During the time of his addiction, he was known for his debauchery.


Emphasis mine. For any area in bold I'd punch him in the face, though I admit I am more from the Mr T School of Manliness.

I'm on a horse.
posted by Biru at 7:16 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's clearly not as dumb as he looks. Still can't stand the irksome fop, mind.
posted by Decani at 7:50 AM on October 9, 2010


Emphasis mine. For any area in bold I'd punch him in the face, though I admit I am more from the Mr T School of Manliness.

With all due respect that we both post on the same website, you sound like a boring asshole.

Nice Mr T. reference and Old Spice catch-phrase to round everything out.
posted by codacorolla at 7:59 AM on October 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


a vegetarian since the age of 14

You bolded this? You would punch someone in the face for being a vegetarian? I'm no vegetarian, but that's pretty dickish.

As for Stilgar, just because someone doesn't make the same choices as you or have the same perspectives as you on religion doesn't mean that they're wrong or less smart than you. It speaks of an incredible hubris to imagine that you're perspectives on "the foolish idea of religion" are somehow canon and incontrovertible.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:09 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Damn, I meant "your" not "you're". I apologize for the rookie grammar mistake.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:10 AM on October 9, 2010


You'd punch someone in the face for being bipolar? Geez, I hope you never run into someone who's clinically depressed. What would you do then, light their hair on fire?
posted by inmediasres at 8:20 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really, really can't stand Brand, and his comedy, but then every time he does a (sort of) documentary on neo-nazis or gets interviewed by someone with a brain, you realise that he's far brighter than he makes out in his act.

I guess that's part of it, for all his talk of wanting to add something of true value to society, I don't think anything called My Booky Wook is the way to do it; the act of ignorance doesn't do anyone any favours, except maintaining his fame. He clearly sees the world the right way though, and hopefully he can use that to do some good rather than just making bad movies and showing up once in a while making an awful lot of sense without any impact.
posted by opsin at 8:33 AM on October 9, 2010


lord chancellor, the part that disappointed me so much was that he seems to have such a razor like ability to cut through the bullshit of modern society, but then refuses to use that insightful tool when it comes to religious wankery.

Sort of like when a person of religion A can tell you all the things wrong with religion B and never once realize they are basically describing themselves. Russel Brand seems to have attained some deep insight into the way modern media can manipulate humans, but fails to see how religions essentially do the same thing.

and I don't care about grammar, so go nuts.
posted by stilgar at 8:48 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am grateful to Biru for his guide to modern morality:

Sex addiction = BAD
Heroin addiction = GOOD
Bulimia = BAD
Self-harm = GOOD
Vegetarianism = BAD
West Ham = GOOD
posted by ninebelow at 11:06 AM on October 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can appreciate that he's very bright, but, dear God, I want to punch him for giving his autobiography this moronic title.

He's from Essex. I don't know if I should feel ashamed or proud.
posted by essexjan at 12:50 PM on October 9, 2010


This is exactly what I'm like when I'm stoned. But without the accent, which is a shame.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:00 PM on October 9, 2010


He's a fairly repellently over-the-top character, but his writing is usually excellent. He had an unusually insightful regular soccer column, which once contained the following little nugget of inspired brilliance -

Everyone's quite rightly excited by Richards but am I alone in detecting homoerotic undertones in the relentless drooling about his athleticism and his "leap"? "Ooh, what a leap," pundits say, struggling to stifle a stiffy; "I've never seen a leap like it"; "I wish he'd leap into my parlour, then leap on to my bunk, then leap about on my tummy till I cry guilty tears about my bastard marriage vows." That's what they say, these pundits. They say it with their eyes.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 3:46 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The way he wrote about his treatment of prostitutes, no matter how fucked up his childhood, put me off him for life. He had this sort of 'oh how awful I was' tone without really showing any regret for them. His brain and words are great but now I can't see his face without thinking about the prostitute's husband crying because he was a dick. Until we get a sequel where he admits to devoting at least some time making up for it he can fuck off.
posted by shinybaum at 8:34 PM on October 9, 2010


He's from Essex. I don't know if I should feel ashamed or proud.

EssexBrand for essexjan!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:06 PM on October 9, 2010


I can appreciate that he's very bright, but, dear God, I want to punch him for giving his autobiography this moronic title.

Are you kidding? I LOVE the book's title. Makes me laugh every time I hear it.

And yeah +1 on the Brand love. I got interested in him after that Sarah Marshall movie & then read his book & fell for him hard. Such a funny verbose monster.
posted by jcruelty at 11:46 AM on October 10, 2010


Bipolar bad? Gosh. I wondered why people kept punching me in the face. Mind, if I decided to become vegetarian too maybe I could get matching bruises on each side of the face.
posted by mippy at 1:23 PM on October 10, 2010


Because of this FPP, I checked out his Comedy Central special from last year on Netflix Instant Watch. It was pretty awful.

Oh well.
posted by defenestration at 2:51 PM on October 10, 2010


Re. his book's title, it seems to annoy me less than most people because I heard its genesis on his late, lamented radio show (thanks, Jonathan Ross, you unfunny twat).

Short version from faulty memory: He was mucking around saying things in a ridiculous manner, when it occurred to him how utterly ridiculous it would be to call his autobio 'My Booky Wook', then gradually convinced himself it was too absurd not to do.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 3:53 PM on October 10, 2010


Brand and Ross got in trouble for prank calling the actor who played Manuel on Fawlty Towers. Among other things, Brand announced he had had sex with the actor's adult granddaughter.

I think the following happened on Rossy's show after the prank and shortly before his leaving the BBC. Ladies and gentlemen, a tribute to Jonathon Ross by Mr. Tim Minchin.
posted by zippy at 10:27 AM on October 11, 2010


... thanks to Wikpedia, I now know the phone prank was two years before Ross's 2010 departure. Carry on.
posted by zippy at 10:32 AM on October 11, 2010


I have just started watching the interview, so I have no comment on it as yet, but I just noticed that the BBC player's volume control goes to 11, and that is my new favoritest thing ever.
posted by Errant at 12:06 PM on October 11, 2010


also, correction #2, it was Ross who announced it while Brand was calling. I'll stop now.
posted by zippy at 1:53 AM on October 12, 2010


My first introduction to Russell Brand was when he hosted Big Brother's (UK) Big Mouth. He hasn't really changed since then, but I like him more now than I did then.
posted by antifuse at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2010


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