Most British people say "cunt" a lot, but I didn't hear Russell Brand say it once. This polite son-of-a-bitch has been at his acting hustle since he was a wee tyke in jolly olde England, which just goes to show that hard work pays off. The 35-year-old has wrestled with drug addictions, beautiful women, cops, brawny crewmen, and disgruntled audience members alike, but finally stands triumphant with fans on both sides of the pond. He's been fired by MTV, rehired by MTV, and straddled by Kristen Bell; he's won the hand of pop-crusher Katy Perry; and he wears heeled boots even though he's already hella tall. June's Get Him to the Greek places him back in the role of Aldous Snow, the scene-stealing tantric cock-rocker he played in Forgetting Sarah Marshall—this time as the leading man. (Jonah Hill's back as well, but somehow as Snow's manager instead of his sycophantic waiter. Guess times have changed.) So, as you'd imagine, there was plenty to discuss. After I interviewed Russell, he took me to a benefit for Transcendental Meditation that was hosted by David Lynch. While we watched folk-rock O.G. Donovan play, Brand stood by content as people clamored to get a word with him. He was the toast of the party, and why not? Everyone loves to laugh—Jessica Rabbit married a goddamned bunny because he was funny. This dude just went and landed himself the real-life version. Good on ya, mate.
Did your dad take you to a brothel when you were a kid?
Was that good?
I think my dad did it for all the right reasons. He did it for fun.
How old were you?
I think I was 16. And at the time, I gotta say, I thought it was fantastic. What 16-year-old boy doesn't want women? So it was amazing. And it was a crash course, 'cause it happened a few times—and those women aren't having straightforward vanilla sex, either. They're wild.
Where was this?
The first one was in Hong Kong. Her prostitute name was Alice. She probably wasn't that much older than I was. She was slight, so even though I was a kid, I picked her up in my arms and took her to the balcony in the hotel; it felt like being a man. Then there was a bit when she said, "I better go now, or I'm gonna fall in love with you." And I thought, "Oh!" But really, that's just kind of the thing they say. [Laughs
.] I'm kinda glad those things happened, 'cause everything makes sense now. I feel like I know where I'm going.
Did those trips put you on a path to have an insatiable desire? Most men sort of have that anyway, I guess.
Well, I think men have the capacity in them to just keep doing that. On one level, we're just biological machines. There's no biological reason why a man shouldn't just try to have sex with every woman he meets—all of them get pregnant and your genetics are winning. But for a woman, that's not a good strategy. I think it's partly nature and partly that I've got an addictive tendency. The way I've been with drink and drugs suggests I have a tendency to get addicted to things.
So are you a sex addict?
I probably was. When you're on TV, you have a lot of opportunities to meet people—if you're given those opportunities and you're young and single, then BANG! That's a perfect storm. And plus, my nature anyways, I'm very, grrrrr, more more more!
So for a little while, it was a bit much.