Name:
Russell Brand
Birth Date:
1975/6/4
Birth Place:
Essex, England, UK
Height:
6' 1
Nationality:
English
Famous for:
The host of Big Brother's Eforum on E4
Profession:
actor, comedian, TV personality
Education:
The Drama Centre in Chalk Farm, London, England
BIOGRAPHY
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The Russell Brand Show

Background:

English comedian, actor, author, columnist, and radio/television presenter Russell Brand first achieved mainstream fame in his native country while hosting “Big Brother's Efourum” (2004-2007) on E4, a sister show to “Big Brother 5.” He has also presented the 2006 NME Awards, the 2007 BRIT Awards, and recently received notice from American audiences for hosting the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. He also co-hosted "The Russell Brand Show" (2006-2008) on BBC Radio 2. Brand appeared in the film "Penelope" (2006) before getting his big break in the films "St. Trinian's" (2007) and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008). He will next be seen in the upcoming films "Bedtime Stories," "The Tempest," "Despicable Me," and "Get Him to the Greek."

A columnist for The Guardian since May 2006, Brand has released two collections of the columns: "Irons in the Fire" (2007) and "Articles of Faith" (2008). He also released an autobiography, "My Booky Wook," on November 15, 2007. He reportedly signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins in June 2008.

The 6' 1" comic with big hair was awarded “Most Stylish Man” for 2007 at the 10th Annual GQ Men of the Year Awards and was one of Entertainment Weekly magazine's “Breakout Stars of 2008.” He was also named “Best Stand Up” by Time Out Magazine in the Time Out Live awards.


Troubled Russell

Childhood and Family:

The only child of Ronald Henry Brand, a photographer, and Barbara Elizabeth, Russell Edward Brand was born on June 4, 1975, in Essex, England. His parents separated when Brad was very young.

While attending the Italia Conti Academy in the early 1990s, Brand began smoking cannabis, became bulimic, and eventually took LSD. He was later kicked out of the academy. In the mid 1990s, he applied for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Drama Centre London and was accepted to the Drama Centre. Brand, who was a heroin addict and an alcoholic at the time, was expelled in the final term of his final year. Brand has had numerous run-ins with the police and has been arrested 11 times.

“In England, we have such good manners that if someone says something impolite, the police will get involved. Christian Bale, I believe whilst in a restaurant, rolled his eyes at the lighting. That is an offense punishable by five years in prison in the United Kingdom. I admire Christian Bale and I think he's one of the greatest living actors on the planet currently, but we cannot shirk when it comes to good manners. If it's true that he also dropped a napkin on his way to the lavatory, then I think that he should possibly receive the death penalty.” Russell Brand

Brand lives in Hampstead, London with his cat, Morrissey, named after the musician. He is good friends with comedian Noel Fielding and “Oasis” member Noel Gallagher. Brand is a supporter of the Free Tibet movement.

Known for his womanizing ways, Brand has had a string of high profile relationships.


Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Career:

Making his theatrical debut at age 15 in a school production of “Bugsy Malone,” Russell Brand honed in on his craft at the Italia Conti Academy and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Drama Centre London. He began working as an extra and had small acting roles in the 1994 children's show “Mud” and in an episode of the long running British television police procedural drama series on ITV, “The Bill.” After leaving Drama Centre, Brand decided to focus on comedy and began writing material with Karl Theobald, whom he met at the Drama Centre. They formed a short-lived double act called “Theobald and Brand on Ice” and began performing stand-up in pubs around London.

In 2000, Brand was spotted by agent Nigel Klarfeld of Gagged and Bound Comedy Ltd. That same year, he made his Edinburgh debut as one third of the stand-up show "Pablo Diablo's Cryptic Triptych." He would return in 2004 with his first one-man show, "Better Now," and then in 2005 with "Eroticised Humour" and in 2006 with "Shame."

Meanwhile, Brand had his first presenting role in 2000 as a VJ on MTV UK’s "Dance Floor Chart." After being fired from the show, Brand created, wrote and hosted "RE: Brand," a British documentary and comedy television program that takes a challenging look at cultural taboos. Two years later, he hosted "Big Brother's Efourum" (aka. "Big Brother's Big Mouth") on E4. He also hosted a special called "Big Brother According to Russell Brand" and appeared on "Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack."

During this time, Brand branched out in acting by appearing in the BBC "Cruise of the Gods" (2002), the television film adaptation of Zadie Smith's 2000 novel, "White Teeth" (2002), and the BBC television sitcom "Blessed" (2005). He also began a radio career in 2002 by hosting a Sunday afternoon show with Matt Morgan on London's Indie Rock station Xfm.

As a stand-up comedian, Brand performed at the 2006 Secret Policeman's Ball staged as a benefit for the human rights organization Amnesty International. The following year, he performed for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip as an act in the 2007 Royal Variety Performance. He recently performed at the Royal and Derngate Theatre, in Northampton, in July 2008.

Continuing his work as a presenter, Brand returned to MTV UK in the spring of 2006 to present the chat show "1 Leicester Square." He also went back to E4, presenting the debate show "Russell Brand's Got Issues" (2006), which was repackaged as "The Russell Brand Show" (2006) and moved to British TV Channel 4 due to poor ratings. However, the show won him a Best Male Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards in 2006. Brand went on to present the 2006 NME Awards, host the 2007 BRIT Awards and present Oasis with their Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the event. He also hosted Comic Relief in July 2007. On October 22, 2007, Brand began presenting the BAFTA-nominated comedy show "Russell Brand's Ponderland," which aired on the British television station Channel 4. A second series of the show began on October 30, 2008, with a Christmas special to follow in December. The show was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy Program in 2008.

A relatively unknown to the American public, Brand recently hosted the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and said MTV has asked him to host the 2009 awards despite the controversial remarks he made during the 2008 ceremony.

“The VMAs were a lot of fun. Especially the death threats. If you are going to kill someone, don't give them advance notice, which gives you a chance to prepare. These Christian Republicans were watching me and thought, 'Well, this is no good, I shall do a death threat.” Russell Brand (after receiving death threats for making disrespectful comments about various stars at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards)

As an actor, Brand played a DJ and a recovering crack addict named Terry in the pilot of the ITV sitcom "The Abbey" (2007) and portrayed an ex-con named Ally on ITV’s crime TV series "Cold Blood" (2007). On the big screen, he had a small role in the Mark Palansky-directed romantic comedy film "Penelope" (premiered September 8, 2006; released in the U.S. February 29, 2008), starring Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, and Reese Witherspoon.

Following his first major film role as Flash Harry in Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson's comedy movie based on the works of cartoonist Ronald Searle, "St Trinian's" (2007), Brand got his breakthrough role in the romantic comedy film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008), in which he played Aldous Snow, the articulate, narcissistic British rocker boyfriend of Kristen Bell's character. His portrayal of Snow received rave reviews and Brand is set to reprise the out-of-control British rock star in an upcoming comedy movie helmed by "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller and producer Judd Apatow titled "Get Him to the Greek," co-starring Jonah Hill.

Brand is currently working on his upcoming film projects, "Bedtime Stories," a family comedy directed by Adam Shankman and starring Adam Sandler, and "The Tempest," Julie Taymor's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play of the same name in which he will co-star with Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina, and Chris Cooper. He will also provide his voice alongside Jason Segel and Steve Carell in the animated film "Despicable Me."

“She is so hot. There's something about her that drives me wild. She's so sexy and enchanting. Just look at her form. They're going to have to hold me back when we start work. I'll be all over her. I don't know how I'm going to get any work done. I'm going to try and get off with her.” Russell Brand (on actress Helen Mirren)

On the radio, Brand co-hosted "The Russell Brand Show" (2006) on BBC 6Music (later transferred to BBC Radio 2). The show ended in 2008 when he resigned due to complaints from the public over his and his guest Jonathan Ross' prank calls to veteran actor Andrew Sachs concerning the fact that Brand had slept with Sachs's granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

Brand, who has written a column in The Guardian since May 2006, released a collection of the columns on November 15, 2007, in a book titled "Irons in the Fire." On October 16, 2008, he released a second collection of the column, "Articles of Faith." He also released an autobiography, "My Booky Wook," published by Hodder & Stoughton, on November 15, 2007. The book became #1 in the U.K. despite receiving a mixed reception from critics. Brand reportedly signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins in June 2008.

“It's difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you. No one really feels self confident deep down because it's an artificial idea. Really, people aren't that worried about what you're doing or what you're saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching you.” Russell Brand


Awards:

  • British Book Awards: Biography of the Year, 2008

  • 33rd Annual Television and Radio Awards: Best Television Performer In A Non-Acting Role, 2007

  • British Comedy Awards: Best Male Newcomer, "Got Issues," 2006

  • Time Out: Best Stand-Up, 2006

  • Loaded Laftas: Best Stand-Up, 2006

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