Get Him to the Greek is a spin-off from the R-rated 2008 hit comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall that was written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller and directed by Stoller. Stoller's back at the helm of Greek and Russell Brand reprises his role as leather-clad, bad boy rocker Aldous Snow. FSM's Jonah Hill is back for more rowdy fun, this time as the guy charged with making sure Aldous makes it to the Greek Theater (hence the film's title) for a comeback show.
Between shooting scenes, Russell Brand sat down with online journalists (including About.com guest writer Fred Topel) for an R-rated chat to talk about slipping back into his Aldous Snow character once again. Something which, according to Brand, was a fairly easy process. "It’s really good because it’s more fun to play him on drugs because now it enables me to relive the better aspects of my own drunken hell without some of the terrible consequences," joked Brand.
Russell Brand Get Him to the Greek On Set Roundtable Q&AYou have a bit of a history with drugs and alcohol so did you make suggestions to the script?
Russell Brand: "I think it was written with my personal problems in mind so yes, I was able to bring a lot of that to the script."
Are you okay with revisiting it on film?
Russell Brand: "Yeah, because I went through all of those years with a crack and heroine addiction I might as well get some money out of it. It cost enough. It was expensive. You get beaten up and go to crack houses. There’s a down beat in a crack house."
How does a music performance differ from doing stand up comedy?
Russell Brand: "It differs almost entirely because as a music performer you stand on the stage saying, 'Look at me. Look at me. F--k me I’m so sexy.' As a comedian, you stand on stage saying, 'Oh, this awful thing happened. I banged my leg. Don’t look at me.' There is a bit of embarrassment and humiliation. Whereas a musical performance is about self-grandization."
You did a song in Sarah Marshall but did you know you were going to have to do a musical as Aldous Snow?
Russell Brand: "No, that would have been madly presumptuous. I’m more than grateful to have had the opportunity to do this."
What's your favorite song that you've recorded?
Russell Brand: "'Bangers, Beans and Mash' written by Jason Segel. The title of the song is neither a euphemism for sex nor an English dish, both of which Jason is unaware of I imagine because otherwise why would have written it? You don’t eat bangers, beans and mash. You don’t want ketchup getting in the mash. You want gravy with mash and bangers. Also, a working class euphemism for tits is bangers as well so these things play in my mind."
So it's a metaphor but it's the wrong metaphor?
Russell Brand: "No, it’s not a metaphor because it has no reality other than its own very specific notion so it has no comparative of value. It is not a metaphor because it’s just itself. It can’t mean anything else."
You’ve shot a couple of music videos already. What do you do in the videos?
Russell Brand: "March about the desert pretending to be Christ and sort of bring peace to Africa."
Were those your ideas?
Russell Brand: "No, I’m too dangerously close to being a messianic figure to suggest things that mock that."
You’re shooting in LA, Vegas, London and NY. Do you have a favorite city you’ve shot in?
Russell Brand: "I’ve learned over the course of doing this to do films set in my house between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon and where I play a little boy called Russell who wears pajamas and plays with a cat for brief periods worthlessly in broad daylight while being fellated. Not by the cat—hang on, it is the cat."
Is that a euphemism?
Russell Brand: "No, again it’s literal."
You share scenes with Sean Combs. Can you talk about working with him?
Russell Brand: "Yeah, it’s insane because he’s Puff Daddy. You know when people are so famous it makes you giggle a bit because you think of things you shouldn’t say and all that stuff? Obviously I’m not going to..."
But you thought about that in the middle of filming?
Russell Brand: "Yeah. 'Oh my God, there’s Puff Daddy.' You repress those things. He’s a great joy. He’s a gentle fellow. He’s funny and thoughtful and sweet. He’s been very compassionate. I went away for a romantic weekend to Vegas with him to see Ricky Hatton get punched in the face in a boxing match."
What’s it like going away for a weekend with Sean?
Russell Brand: "I just felt like the luckiest girl in the world. It felt like a dream, really. Then he popped the question. He’s very lovely. He’s a very hospitable gentleman."
Can you talk a bit about working with Jonah Hill?
Russell Brand: "Yeah, he’s lovely. He’s a really funny, sparkly individual. He’s young and I forget how young he is. He’s only 24 or 25. He’s incredibly bright and has a clear understanding of what he wants to do. He comes up with good suggestions, and I enjoy the chemistry I have with him. I was really surprised in Sarah Marshall with the short scenes between he and I worked. That’s the reason I wanted to do this film because I was interested to explore that."