Russell Brand is hard to summarise in one sentence. He is a comedian for sure, but his opinions, writings, podcasts extend far beyond the comedy. The issues he deals with often have a comedy angle to them but the undertone has a more serious message. He exposes his personal life, problems, addictions and fears along side his political views and social conscious. Never are the issues dealt with in a subtle and diplomatic way, but his opinions are blatantly clear and he gets his messages across using comedy.
I turned up to the shoot expecting a man who’s personality would make be hard to control during a shoot. Russell has a very big presence. Big hair, tall and a highly visible presence. I remember seeing him at an exhibition opening a few years ago and you could easily spot him across the room. Everyone looked around the room, and as they glanced towards where he was standing, everyone raised their head as if their glance was passing some speed bump (his head) towering over everybody else’s), to avoid glancing right at him, trying to pretend not to look in order to allow him his personal space.
The initial introduction was met with a firm handshake and a direct eye contact with a very polite and well mannered introduction, not forced, but a genuine ‘a pleasure to meet you’. The rest of the shoot I experienced a relaxed and fun Russell who seemed genuinely interested in everybody around him. It is not hard to see how this man can get everyone around him to feel relaxed.
Russell has a new book out now dealing with his addictions, ’Recovery, Freedom from our addictions’. I am sure this will be an honest, hard hitting read, using humour with a few words thrown in, that may be hard to digest for the faint hearted.