While in the U.S. Russell Brand is still mostly viewed as an eccentric British import, perhaps best known for playing the blurred out rocker Aldous Snow in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him To The Greek,” he’s a bonafide star in the UK. The comedian, author, and actor has more recently made headlines for a different kind of work in front of camera. Via YouTube, he’s launched “The Trews” (a mashup of True News), wherein Brand pontificates on the issues of the day in his own unique manner. Recently taking to railing against the current economic and political machinations of the Western world, Brand reveals he’s ready to give up his day job to pursue his beliefs full time.
In a recent talk with The Financial Times, promoting his new book “Revolution,” Brand, a millionaire who was chauffeured to the interview, says that dollars and cents don’t mean much to him. “I’m not interested in making money any more,” he said, adding: “It makes me scared if I think about money too much, then it makes me feel guilty. The only thing I tell the people who look after my money is ‘make sure my fucking taxes are 100 per cent legitimately paid,’ and then I do my own shit.”
So does this mean no more well paid acting jaunts? Brand replied: “It probably does mean that, yes,” though he clarifies he’ll continue to do comedy, simply because he enjoys the performance aspect. But why does he feel the need to change his lifestyle and embrace his own unique method of activism?
“Because I believe in change. Because I’ve seen a revolution in my own life. I’ve come from a very ordinary background and I’ve become a drug addict, I’ve lived for years on benefits and now I live a completely different life where I experience all of the glamour, all of the things that capitalism promises —fame, pop stardom, glory, money. And it’s worthless and it’s meaningless,” he says.
To give Brand some credit, the last project he starred in was Diablo Cody‘s straight-to-VOD “Paradise” and the last movie he was attached to was Werner Herzog‘s school shooting comedy “Vernon God Little,” which was supposed to go into production this past spring but seems to be delayed at the moment. So perhaps Brand is sticking true to his word, and already retreating from his privileged existence. But whether or not he’ll stick to his aforementioned convictions in the longer term remains to be seen.
Lastly, for a taste of Brand’s “The Trews,” here’s a recent episode about last week’s events in Ottawa, Canada.