60 Minutes blog

Liz Hayes - My time with Russell Brand

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What I’m about to write is not going to please all readers.

Some may even be offended and others may just not believe me. All I can say about that is… look away …or read something that nice boy Peter Overton might have written.

I’m about to tell you a story about Russell Brand, the bad boy British comedian and now actor, and, one-time husband to pop star Katy Perry.

I met Russell in Los Angeles this week at his office on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank.

Can I just say that Russell is a naughty boy… a very naughty boy.

He arrived for his interview with a pose` of minders; stylist, makeup artist, publicist and a mate. All try, but none have any real say and absolutely no control over their unpredictable charge.

He eyes me as if to quickly assess what I’m like and how he’s going to deal with me.

I do the same.

At first he plays to his own crowd. And they oblige with laughter and more laughter. I’m pretty sure he wants to take the piss out of me and gives it a bit of a nudge. I know I look so straight-laced. I’m the one in the shirt and jacket and pin-striped trousers. He’s wearing the jewellery.

There’s an initial air of cynicism … the kind that’s always there with Hollywood stars who don’t really want to share the same room with reporters.

And let’s face it, the media hasn’t always been Russell’s friend and added to the mix this time is his recent divorce to Ms Perry.

But Russell has something to sell, a stand-up comedy tour, and interviews are a necessary evil.

So we plough on.

Then somewhere in the mix, Russell engages.

He talks openly and with interest. He delivers his trade mark wit with large dollops of outrageousness. He shows me his “nut undercarriage”, the um, area under his testicles and I learn that my kundalini is located somewhere near my vagina. He undresses and shows me his tattoos. Ok, I might have embellished that bit. He took off his jacket.

Russell Brand is a reformed alcoholic, drug and sex addict. He’s swapped those vices for yoga, transcendental meditation and spirituality. He sits during the entire interview clutching a rather large crystal.

I think he likes me, and I think I like him.

So now comes what we media people call B-roll.

Russell takes me touring in his own special Rolls Royce model golf cart. It’s tarted up with cameras to record our every move.

And right from the beginning, I knew we were headed for trouble.

We smash through barriers and hurtle down streets. It turns out Russell hasn’t been driving too long, and his judgement behind the wheel is still in the learning phase.

We crash into sets and finally get stuck. And then, we get lost.

It’s just he and me.

We start walking hoping to find his office and hitch a ride on a passing buggy, but before we get too far, Russell jumps off. He’s seen the set for Two and a Half Men and Ashton Kutcher is a mate he says.

They’re recording a scene but in the way only Russell Brand can, he talks his way in and then finds himself playing a waiter.

It is the magic and madness of Russell Brand.

And I guess that’s why the crash and then a pash is the least I should have expected. Yes, pash!

It started as playful smooching for the cameras. But then I was absolutely gobsmacked … both physically and metaphorically. Russell and I locked lips. And there was more to come. You’ll have to watch. I can’t seem to write it.

I spent way many more hours with Russell than I was supposed to. But frankly they were hours well spent.

His publicist should be glad to know that I found Russell to be a smart and articulate, warm and funny man who will always be, well, a very naughty boy.

And to my producer Phil Goyen who tartly said “save it for the blog Liz!” as I was recalling my adventures and who thought at first that none of this was caught on camera …well, this is for you.

User comments
Well done Liz ,you were the centre of Russel Brands universe . I loved watching it. He is extremely genuine...or extremely talented.. Take note you men out there, he has a special gift...
Thanks Liz! I'm so glad you were swept up in the moment! I'm rallying on 'Team Russell' and refuse to listen to any Katy Perry music, although she used to be a fav. Gorgeous interview, thanks heaps!!
I watched the interview and it had me laughing from start to finish. What a refreshingly funny character he is. Well done Liz on a great interview.
embarrassing..and I like a laugh as much as the next guy.

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