Rising Star: Russell Brand
Earlier this week, funnyman Russell Brand took a break from a Los Angeles set where he has been filming a part in Adam Sandler’s upcoming movie, “Bedtime Stories,” to share some side-splitting tales a person usually has to pay good money to hear.
The lanky actor, stand-up comedian and British TV and radio host plays Sandler’s sidekick in the film and while that is no small feat, by the time “Bedtime Stories” hits the theaters, you’ll already be quite familiar with Access Hollywood Rising Star Russell Brand.
He looks like a rock star — always dressed in black, perpetually with a five o’clock shadow of sorts, heavy eyeliner and mounds of tousled ebony waves, but so far there is no album in the making (though he did offer to write Access Hollywood’s interviewer a song).
Those looks and his multitude of talents make it easy to see why the 32-year-old was cast as Aldous Snow, the rocker who steals Jason Segel’s girlfriend, Kristin Bell, in the soon-to-be-huge big screen comedy, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
And though he is a veteran in his native UK, having been on TV for years, Brand humbly said working with his “Sarah Marshall” co-stars provided some additional knowledge.
“We got on really well, I think through the universal language of comedy and sexy rehearsals,” the Brit told Access. “I didn’t imagine I could ever be so comfortable working as part of a group. As a stand-up comedian, you usually work alone, but Jason Segel is an incredibly generous actor and writer and he’s brilliant. And all the people I worked with — Jonah Hill, Kristin Bell, Mila Kunis — they’re just absolutely fantastic. I learned loads. It was a really great experience.”
One experience Hollywood’s new “it” boy thinks was less rewarding, was his acrobatic, nay, intensely gymnastic and demented, love scene with Bell.
“I’m limber because I do regular yoga exercises, but nothing could have prepared me for the specter of Kristin Bell wearing plastic knickers and a Band-Aid bra,” he said (tongue-in-cheek). “It wasn’t my body that needed to be flexible, it was my mind ‘cause it was an aesthetic image that long scarred me and haunted my dreams, the recording of that thing.”
Though the role could easily have been one dimensional, Brand gives the slim-hipped trend-adoring rocker depth, making it harder for the moviegoer to dislike him, even if his character is slightly obnoxious with corny body tattoos.
In addition to his talents, Brand proved he’s in acting for the long haul, going method and seeking advice from real rock stars before taking on the role.
“I sought the advice of Morrissey from the Smiths [and] of Noel Gallagher from the band Oasis and then I just used my mind,” he explained. “Noel is a great wit… I said, ‘Come on, ‘How do I make this rock star sexy and appealing ‘I said, the [one way] is probably to keep them as far away from you and your scruff-haired brother [Oasis frontman Liam], as humanly possible. He agreed that would be the best way to characterize Aldous Snow.”
And the former Smiths frontman’s advice?
“Morrissey said maintain a sense of evasiveness and aloofness,” Brand noted.
Morrissey wasn’t aloof when he was one of the lucky few to catch the breakout star Brand’s first ever American stand-up dates in Los Angeles last week. He came to both sets (giving Brand a standing ovation each time), and Brand expects Moz to attend a screening of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” too.
Although he is a Rising Star in America and already a celebrated star in the UK, Brand admits he might not yet have the sway to get his other rock buddies to the British premiere.
“Even though they’re very sweet and lovely men, they’re still Oasis and they might spill someone’s popcorn in a rock n’ roll frenzy,” Brand said.
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