Russell Brand Talks Arthur Remake
Posted 06.05.10 by Ryan
Russell Brand is a busy actor these days. His movie-stealing role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall prompted director Nicholas Stoller to bring Brand's character, Aldous Snow, back for more in Get Him to the Greek. Brand will also be back for more next month as a voice in Universal's 3-D animated Despicable Me, opening July 9.
But what fans of Russell Brand are buzzed about is his next live action role in the remake of Arthur. Brand shared a few details about the project in an interview with Collider.
I’m starting Arthur in July. The Dudley Moore movie, you know, like that billionaire guy got married for money or choose love/fairy tale. So I'm playing Arthur. I'm up for that. And that starts in July. I'm doing it with Helen Mirren. She's got an Oscar already, so she must be brilliant. That's the way I see it.
Mirren will be substituting in for Sir John Gielgud, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Hobson, Arthur's butler. Brand says his Arthur may steal a few lines from the 1981 original, but will otherwise "go our own path."
I mean as demonstrated by the decision to have the butler as a female/nanny played by Helen Mirren. So that's already a distinction. We've taken some of the best lines from the script, but even that I'll go...hmm, it's dodgy doing that. Like there's some, just such amazing lines in it that...what's that..."Oh, how did you end up being a prostitute?" "My mom died when I was 6 and my father shot himself when I was 12." "So you had 6 relatively good years?" I wanted to keep that. What can I say?
But like I...so the spirit of it like you know Dudley Moore he's sort of innocent isn't he? So you've got to have that innocent vulnerability. That's got to be maintained and the sort of sadness of somebody that's a drunk or whatever. And the optimism, the affability and all that. Keep all those things. But it's sort of different because it's a different time and look what's happening economically and all these things. A billionaire. Wish fulfillment and he can do anything. He's got so much money. I like that sort of stuff.
Brand's own history of alcoholism and drug-abuse has made him particularly knowledgeable in how to portray a billionaire drunk in a more modern era than the 1980s.
You can't be, as you have correctly observed, attitudes towards alcohol have changed now. Now being a drunk is...hey he's a loveable party guy! I think he's dead! It's really sad that someone is drinking. So there has to be sort of a more sophisticated approach to the problems of alcoholism to which I'm actually sensitive as a person in recovery. But I don't want to lose the fun. I like when also in Arthur was it like you're the guy with all the money, right? Yeah. What's it like? It's brilliant. I don't want to lose that. Like you don't want to lose that. But like yes, you have to be a little more responsible.
Brand's Arthur was written by British comedy writer Peter Baynham (Bruno) and will be directed by Jason Winer (ABC's Modern Family).
And if that's not enough of the eccentric British comedian, you will be able to catch Brand as the voice of the Easter Bunny for the comedy Hop, which opens April 1, 2011.