Being an English woman abroad, I feel more fondness for Russell Brand now when I see him pictured with Katy Perry in US Magazine than I did when he lived just down the road from me, drinking in the pub round the corner from my office.
By Holly Grigg-Spall
Being an English woman abroad, I feel more fondness for Russell Brand now when I see him pictured with Katy Perry in US Magazine than I did when he lived just down the road from me, drinking in the pub round the corner from my office. As I juggle the debauched stories from his autobiography, My Booky Wook, and the scandalous tabloid headlines with his current cleaned-up, red-carpet-friendly persona, some apprehension gets mixed in with that fondness. Brand's confessional, hyper-literate, surrealistic stand-up comedy is brilliant. When he made the move to Hollywood with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the obvious fear was that he'd lose his edge and let his latent vegetarian-yoga-buddhist side take over his talent.
We English were pleased to hear of Brand bringing down the Jonas Brothers at the MTV Video Music Awards with a canny reference to French philosopher Foucault, but still it was assumed American celebrity would eventually ruin him. Although Forgetting Sarah Marshall was funny, it could have easily been a fluke. The idea of a spin-off from that film in which Brand's rock star character, Aldous Snow, is chaperoned by record company intern Aaron Green, played by Jonah Hill, from London to a come-back concert in Los Angeles sounded dubious. I was prepared for Get Him To The Greek to be disappointing, maybe even a disaster. Instead, red-carpet Russell Brand is a revelation in a movie that should make him much more than just Katy Perry's boyfriend this side of the Atlantic.