A Minute With: Russell Brand on stand-up to acting

Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:47pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Russell Brand got a quick ascension to Hollywood when he was forced to quit his gig as a BBC radio host after taking part in lewd prank calls to "Fawlty Towers" actor Andrew Sachs.

The outrageous British comedian was then widely praised for his small role in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and now he is getting more acclaim in his first major starring role in "Get Him to the Greek" in which he reprises his role as hedonistic British pop star Aldous Snow.

Soon he will appear in "The Tempest" and he plans to marry singer Katy Perry. He spoke to Reuters about acting, stand-up, life in the tabloids and what he now thinks of the BBC.

Q. You are known for your outrageous antics and not really toeing the line. Can acting get a bit boring compared to the freedom of stand-up?

A. "It is a bit. You are right. I prefer to do stand-up where I can just make it up as I go. If I suddenly want to do stand-up, I think, 'I will just say this now'. Just say a load of stuff about something I just thought or something I saw earlier that day. Often those things are either inappropriate or controversial or sometimes illegal. So it can be problematic but at least it's fun. Acting, I love it, but it's a much more strategic and disciplined way of working and it's much more collaborative."

Q. Do they restrain you on set?

A. "They have to a bit, but they do also encourage me. They are always going, 'Go on Russell, say something.' And I do, and they go 'Alright that's enough now, that's disgusting.'"

Q. The film sends up being in the tabloids, a bit like your own life?   Continued...

<p>Cast member Russell Brand is interviewed at the premiere of "Get Him to the Greek" at the Greek theatre in Los Angeles May 25, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>