Russell Brand's Guide to Threesomes, Pissing Off Christians and Breaking Up Oasis

How the star of 'Get Him to the Greek' made himself into the wildest onscreen rock star in history

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British comedian Russell Brand returns as Aldous Snow, the funniest Hollywood rock star spoof since Spinal Tap, in Get Him to The Greek on June 4th. After revealing his plan to save the music industry (see reason Number 31 in our latest issue) and bringing much-needed levity to Idol Gives Back, Brand talked about playing an over-the-top rock maniac, breaking up Oasis and the inherent danger of the male-male-female threesome.

How did you get the part of Aldous Snow in the first place?

When I first auditioned for Forgetting Sarah Marshall I was just sort of being myself. The character was going to be a writer, not a rock star. But when Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, the director, saw my audition they thought, "Trying to make this man act is beyond us, but he does have something." So they changed the character and the things I just do anyway were suddenly appropriate.

Get Him to the Greek is a much darker movie than Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Was this a hard place for you to go as an actor?

Actually it was. It's supposed to be all this sense-memory business, but if you're doing a scene where you need someone to, say, score you smack, I mean that happened to me before. These are situations that I have personal references for so yeah, sometimes work put me in a dark frame of mind.

The darkest scene of all is the threesome...

Imagine that, right. I would urge people, men especially, unless they're bisexual, to avoid the two-male threesome. You're essentially getting less there than you would have got anyway. Half the involvement in sex and at least doubled the risk of someone farting in the room. And the constant threat of what I know as nut brush.

Please explain the nut brush.

Nut brush is the phenomena where if you take a threesome to its natural conclusion you may very well find your testicles being impeached by another man's testicles. That's not my idea of a party.

Speaking from personal experience?

Matter of fact I am. Once me and my mate went through a stage, I dunno why, circumstances or something, where we slept with this same girl a few times. It never ended well. One occasion I accidentally got some sperm on his leg. He responded in a way that was a sort of tit for tat mentality that led to war all over the world. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Thank God it wasn't his eye that the sperm got in, otherwise I'd be talking to you from behind dark glasses and getting paid for every gig in dollar bills.

Was there a moment in the movie where you felt like Aldous was taking over a little bit and Russell was fading into the background?

When I did this, I thought this is a freebie. I get to indulge. I can never take drugs or drink again, it really is one day at a time for me, but in the movie I got to let go, give in a little bit to the dark side. You know when Darth Vader goes to Luke, "Give in to the Dark Side." And Luke can't. I always think, "Go on Luke, give in to the Dark Side." It's all right in there in this film.

You've hung out with musicians for most of your career — any particular persona you based Snow on?

In terms of being a rock star, my influences were people that I'm mates with, like Noel Gallagher for instance. From him you get that kind of nonchalance, that sense of entitlement. I once asked him, "How come you're so mouthy and rude to everybody?" and he said that he knew that no matter what happened, if he could still play guitar he was going to go on booking gigs and making money. So it was that sort of self-assuredness that rock stars have. Also there's that sense of arrested development. Because rock stars get rich very young a lot of times it's like they don't have that any social awareness. Pete Doherty for example, who I know somewhat, he is a poetic person. He gets a horrible rap in all of the British tabloids, but he's one of those sweet, ethereal people – who you should never get in a car with.

But doesn't music need some of these over-the-top characters?

Yeah. They have this attitude that transfers into the laws of physics. You hear about the things Keith Moon did and you think, "I just would die." If I tried to pull a toilet out of the floor, the next thing I would be doing is fumbling on the floor saying, "Ahhh, my back! My back, I've hurt my back! I need to speak to a chiropractor please." But Keith Moon just pulls it out of the floor, throws it right out the window, and goes on with his life – well for a while, and then died.

With the new movie there are so many scenes of debauchery. How much of that was from your life or mined from elsewhere?

Let's be honest, debauchery is not something I like to outsource. Because I'm a comedian, when things are getting debauched, orgiastic and there's narcotic indulgence, it's sort of like, woo hoo, I've won a game show! Whereas with musicians that's the norm. Dave Davies from the Kinks -- his mum caught him in bed with five women when he was 16. He shouldn't have been allowed out after 9 o'clock at that age, and he's in bed with five women. But a lot of my heroes are like Morrissey, guys who soberly and gingerly retire to a room and roll their eyes at the TV set. ??

But that's the exact opposite of what you became...

Yeah, I know, that's extraordinary isn't it? The reason I love Morrissey is because he's the beautification of nerdy incompetence. "If I don't leave my room what will people say? What will they think of me?" Morrissey became the apotheosis of that, bursting out of that bedroom a hero.

When you were hosting the MTV Video Music Awards were there some places you decided that you couldn't go?

Very much. After the first year when I came over all English, and green and naïve, I thought this should be a laugh — MTV, that's edgy. From what I understood of it, what I know now, my definition of edgy and MTV's definition of edgy are different. And I got the death threats to prove it. I learned you don't make jokes about humorless people because they might kill you.

Would that be the Christian right in America?

Yup. Where is the forgiveness? Forgiveness is supposed to be their primal doctrine.

Was it when you compared Britney Spears to Christ that set them off?

Yeah, some of them, I didn't even notice that one, I thought that was just clearly a joke. A lot of the George W. Bush and Jonas Brothers bits too.

Did Britney take that joke seriously?

No, she's a very friendly and sort of sweet girl. Very professional. But I don't feel like I fully penetrated the hymen of her public persona.

I read that Liam Gallagher is blaming you for the latest Oasis blow-up?

Yeah, that was a bit odd. I spoke to Noel about that. Look it's not like you're in a band for years and then you start hanging out with Russell Brand and it's over – as if the two things are mutually exclusive. The only people responsible for the breakup of Oasis are in Oasis. I don't want to be the Oasis Yoko Ono without even getting to have sex with John Lennon!

At the 2009 MTV VMAs, would you have stopped Kanye from grabbing the mike from Taylor Swift if you could?

Kanye is a sufficiently talented human being to come back from that. He'll be all right and Taylor Swift looked quite good. But it was like watching a wildlife documentary, when the leopard goes to kill the little antelope and you're like, "Why wouldn't the cameraman stop it?" That's not their duty, theirs is to observe.

Are rock stars too afraid of that kind of controversy these days? Why apologize? Aldous Snow wouldn't apologize if he had jumped onstage with Taylor Swift, right?

Aldous probably would've eaten Taylor Swift up there. Taylor Swift is obviously a very sweet person, but I can see Kanye's point. I mean, I'm in no position to judge Kanye West because that's the stuff I've done when you jump around, have a few drinks and express yourself!

Afterward do you hang your head in shame or just move on?

I have, necessarily due to my career trajectory, had to master fake apologies. So you know I can administer fake apologies when necessary. What's the technique? While you're saying the apology you think of something else. Imagine your mouth is in another country and your brain is just doing what it wants, perhaps committing a far worse crime.

Your fiancée Katy Perry said you look like Charles Manson, Jesus, Jim Morrison plus a little bit of Elvis. Is that the look you've been going for?

I certainly wasn't trying to cultivate a Charles Manson persona, given some of his atrocious behavior in the late '60s. But I do acknowledge I have long hair and a beard. The problem with Manson wasn't the long hair and the beard. That's fine. A lot of people have long hair and a beard. It's when he induced people to go out and commit murders in his name. That's where the problem came. So I don't mind looking like him, and actually, that acoustic album of his is not that bad.

Then there's the whole carving the swastika into your head...

Yeah, when you put a swastika on your forehead, you burn a lot of bridges. You know what I mean? You can put the Star of David and the Crucifix on either cheek afterwards, but really, the damage is done.

Was there a moment in your career where you just said, "Fuck it, I'm going to go with this over-the-top persona''?

To be honest, we have to return to the Morrissey point of earlier. There's a message I'd like to convey to misfit kids everywhere: There comes a point where not fitting in and being odd and peculiar suddenly turns to your advantage. The whole burden of it is almost mythological, when you are saying, "Oh, I just want to be like everyone else, I just want everyone to like me, I just want to be normal." But then, in time, your curse becomes your blessing. To quote a movie: It's a matter of releasing the kraken! Don't conceal the kraken! It's your greatest weapon.