Russell Brand has nothing to hide. It's part of his program, not to mention how he earns his living.
The star British comedian one-time addict has made a career of telling stories of his wild times with drugs and women, adopting a rock star persona in his standup tours and major hosting appearances even as he privately recovered from a tough childhood and twenties lived on the edge. Talking to Details Magazine, he discusses his ongoing recovery from heroin and alcohol addiction, as well as the calming influence of his marriage to Katy Perry.
Eight years sober, Brand plays a recovering eccentric billionaire in the remake of the Dudley Moore classic "Arthur," scheduled for an April release. It's not a role far from home; in his native Britain, he became known for his wild stage shows and two memoirs. He said outrageous things in front of international audiences -- his diss of the Jonas Brothers and, more pointedly, George W. Bush at the 2008 VMAs come to mind in America, though they're just the tip of the iceberg -- and did outrageous things.
Outrageous things that include sticking a Barbie in his rectum, about which he said, "If I remember correctly, I chose the Barbie doll because it represents the oppression of women, the stereotype of femininity, the commercialization of sexuality, blah blah blah."
But it was all an act, he tells the magazine, even if he didn't quite know it at the time.
Now, in recovery, he attends AA meetings three times a week and adheres to a strict program; to go off the program, he insists, is to invite slowly creeping death, first as a haze and then wearily draining into lifelessness, back into his world.
"To me, the gravity is heroin, and then death. You know, to sleep," he said, "that incremental suicide of turning your life into a dream, to make being awake as similar to sleep as possible. Drowsily, lazily, dry-mouth your way through the day's ceremonies, fumble your way back into the dew-bather you never really left, draped in brown, brown now all around, the haze!"
He now prefers the real world, thanks to transcendental meditation and, perhaps even more soul-cleansing, his marriage to Katy Perry. It's changed everything he says:
"Because now I have something to protect, and it is very odd indeed. There are a lot of things you have to amend to be in a monogamous relationship. I've had to readdress everything and start buying deck furniture. On the Titanic. Avoiding the constant icebergs. In the end, putting snowshoes on the bottom of it?"
He's relinquished many decisions to Perry, and is trying to go with the flow. It's an odd sensation for him -- by nature, he is a resilient obstructer of the flow, often building dams to stop it -- but it's all part of the program. Perry just may want to close her eyes when Brand kisses Jennifer Garner on screen, if she wants to keep that flow going.
For so much more, including more talk about drugs, his marriage and his illustrious comedy career, click over to Details.