In Get Him to the Greek, Russell Brand is Aldous Snow, rock star extraordinaire. Jonah Hill is Aaron, a record company employee who answers his boss’s (P Diddy) call to get Snow from London to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in 72 hours for a concert for the ages.
Considering Brand’s character is a rock star with a documented history of rock and roll excess, the task is much more difficult than it seems for Hill’s regular-guy Aaron.
Brand and Hill met SheKnows at the famed Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, site of the penultimate scene in Get Him to the Greek to talk about rock, movies and Brand’s upcoming marriage to Katy Perry.
SheKnows goes to the Greek
SheKnows: Russell, was it nice to channel your inner rock star in Get Him to the Greek? Was it a dream fulfilled to perform here at the Greek?
Russell Brand: It did fulfill them. I just completely released a lot of childhood fantasies and a good many of my other childhood fantasies have been rightly repressed, as they are dangerous. They involved a utopia in which there is no money and everyone is topless.
SheKnows: (Laughing) I know you’re pals with a few rock stars, most notably Noel Gallagher from Oasis, and of course your fiance Katy Perry. Did you get any rock star lessons from them for this role?
Russell Brand: Besides Noel, I’ve hung out with Pete Doherty a bit. (Amy) Winehouse, she’s my mate. She’s more blues, I suppose. Carl Barat, he’s a mate of mine and contributes to the soundtrack. So, I count some rock stars among my friends.
SheKnows: We love Oasis — Noel must have been invaluable for this excess-loving rock star you play.
Russell Brand: From Noel I learned this kind of inherent nonchalance that rock stars have. Like, I went to him with “Why are you so nonchalant?” Then followed a brief time where I explained the word nonchalant [laughs]. No, really, Noel Gallagher’s a brilliant man and poet, but I did have to explain that word. And then he said, “It’s ’cause I know that anywhere I go, no matter what happens to me, no matter what people say, as long as I’ve got the guitar and the ability to play, people will pay ten quid to come and see me.” So I thought, “Oh, that’s good that he’s got his gift.” Where as a comedian, or whatever, you tend to be more neurotic about stuff like that.
SheKnows: Russell, this movie is absolutely hilarious, but there is also so much heart to it.
Russell Brand: I had assumed that the movie would be comedic throughout, that it would be a rip-roaring, roller coaster ride of giggles, chuckles, guffaws and laughs. When I arrived on set and suddenly I was expected to do crying and shouting, initially, I spoke to my management and said, “Look, they’re asking me to show genuine emotions. Is that in my contract?” So, I was forced to do it. But, when I saw the film, I think it makes me look quite cool and deep. So, thanks. That’s what I was hoping for.
SheKnows: So are you going to become a method actor?
Russell Brand: Very method, almost methodical. What I did was I heard that Daniel Day Lewis went and lived as a cobbler for three months in Italy, so I got a job as a plumber in Havana. I infiltrated Fidel Castro’s secret network of spies. I’m still working for him now so unless you start being a bit more communist, there’s gonna be some gunfire. Let me tell you.
SheKnows: Now Jonah, Russell’s right here, so be nice, but you’ve worked with Russell twice now (in Forgetting Sarah Marshall), would you revisit the madcap world of Russell Brand again?
Jonah Hill: It was great. I really respect Russell as a talented comedian and actor and also as a person. I think he’s great and it was fun to get to work with him again.
SheKnows: Was it a fantasy to film the part of someone going along for the rock star, party-crazy ride?
Jonah Hill: I think that rock stars or people that party like rock stars probably have a higher tolerance for that sort of thing than the average person going into that world.
SheKnows: As I asked Russell before, this is a rock star film, but it also has surprising heart and a message too. Is that what appealed to you?
Jonah Hill: Who hasn’t dreamed about going on the road with their favorite rock star and partying for three days? But in actuality you kind of realize after all the fun and debauchery and sex, drugs and rock and roll, that lifestyle can be rather empty. Without loved ones and people that you care about, life can be pretty sad.
Rocking with Diddy
SheKnows: What was it like working with P Diddy? Talk about a music icon.
Jonah Hill: He had acquired my phone number somehow and he called me and said he was a huge fan of mine. He had heard about the role in this movie and wanted to audition. So he flew out to audition for Nick (director Nicholas Stoller) and I and he just knocked it out of the park and he was very clear that we weren’t entering his world, he was entering ours. I think he’s shockingly hysterical.
SheKnows: He was hilarious! What about you Russell, did you meet Diddy before shooting?
Russell Brand: Oh man, he made me go to Vegas. Puffy took me and Jonah individually. I was on a private jet with Puffy. Puffy told me, specifically, that I was to wear a long fuchsia scarf for the journey. He goes, “I want you to arrive at that airport two hours late wearing a fuchsia scarf, jacket behind you, on the tarmac.” I said, “That is bloody specific.” I couldn’t get one, but I did get a bronze cowboy hat and I regretted it as soon as I sat down next to him, but it was too late to take it off. It had affected the hair underneath it so I was wearing it for ages.
Brand boasts about his girl, Katy Perry
SheKnows: Russell, how was life at home when Katy Perry was named number one on Maxim magazine’s top 100 sexiest women 2010?
Russell Brand: Well, on one level, it’s superficial and meaningless. But, in another way, it flatters my male ego ’cause I think, “Oh, I’ve attained this, so I must have value as a person.” On another level, I recognize it’s meaningless. So, it depends on the mood I’m in. At the moment I feel real puffed up.
SheKnows: Lastly, I have to ask Russell, how’s the wedding planning going with Katy? Are there any nerves about being a married man?
Russell Brand: I’ve recently had this explained to me by my wife: You must be faithful. And I don’t have a problem with that. I’m really, really in love.