Russell Brand: Calling Bush a Retard Was a Compliment

May 13, 2010 By:
Russell Brand: Calling Bush a Retard Was a Compliment

Russell Brand's womanizing ways may be behind him but he's Playboy magazine man of the month.

The June issue, which features the much-talked-about 3-D centerfold is on newsstands this Friday, and Russell is their 20Q subject this month.

He speaks very candidly about his love of prostitutes, his past drug use, engagement to pop star Katie Perry, his upcoming role in the Judd Apatow-produced movie Get Him to the Greek, and why he thinks calling George W. Bush a "retard" was a compliment. Here are some highlights from the interview:

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On his history of having an appetite for groupie sex:

“When I was at my most promiscuous, I was like a charging locomotive…I had a team of experts who took care of finding women for me. They had very specific instructions. It was as if I was talking to a wine steward. ‘I’m looking for something French, a bit fruity, smells of oak.’ [laughs] I’ve reached a point in my life where I understand empirically that this is not the answer. When you sleep with loads of women, it becomes a bit pointless and futile.”

On his stint in rehab for sex addiction:

“The majority of people in sex rehab are just disgusting men. There aren’t hot blondes ripping off their clothes and saying, ‘I’m gorgeous, and I just can’t get enough c*ck!’ It’s just sleazy men wanking off in dark corners.”

On talking about his fiancée Katy Perry in his comedy routine:

“I suppose if I talk about her a lot, it’s going to be odd if I decide at some point to go, ‘Listen, I changed my mind. This is private.’ I’ll make jokes about it, but the rest of the time I try to keep my relationship with her close to the chest. It’s the first time in my life I’ve had something I’ve cared about this much and wanted to protect.”

On the Jonas Brothers’ premarital abstinence:

“I’m not morally opposed to the idea of sexual abstinence. It’s just not practical for me, because I’ve got to have sex…It’s the public nature of it that I find interesting. Michel Foucault, the poststructuralist French philosopher, said that in Victorian society, the preeminence and celebration of chastity was in fact the mirror of hedonism. In other words, if you’re constantly drawing attention to your abstinence from sex, you’re also drawing attention to sex. With somebody like Mick Jagger, it’s all about sex, sex, sex. But with the Jonas Brothers, it’s no sex, no sex, no sex. You see what I mean? The emphasis is still on sex.”

On why he’s not yet a household name in the USA:

“I haven’t been here long enough…I’ve spent most of the past few years in England. I’ve actually been focusing on becoming a household name in Russia and China, because that’s the future. I hope you enjoy this innocent era before your empire collapses.”

On being arrested 11 times:

“It becomes routine and a little humdrum. You start unthinkingly raising your wrists to be cuffed. And you bow your head automatically as they put you into the back of a police car. Occasionally you’ll encounter an overly vicious policeman who perhaps gets a bit rough with you, and that’s when it gets exciting again. It’s quite similar to promiscuity…Every police officer has something unique about him or her, some part of the arresting technique that makes it special.”

On the backlash he received after calling former President George Bush “that retarded cowboy fella” at the MTV Music Awards:

“When I said it, I thought, Well, this is a statement nobody can possibly have a problem with. I thought it was a very populist thing to do. It was meant as a compliment. I wasn’t remarking on Bush’s mental retardation but the fact that Americans are so forward thinking they wouldn’t object to putting a man with his limited intellectual capabilities into political office. It’s quite a compliment that you let Bush run things for as long as you did. In my country he wouldn’t have been trusted with a pair of scissors.”

On receiving death threats because of the joke:

“I did, yeah. I was surprised my agency forwarded them along to me. It was like, ‘Look at all these death threats you’ve been getting!’… I never took any of it seriously. If you think about it, a death threat is really futile, given the nature of mortality. If you want somebody to die, just wait.”

On sticking a Barbie doll in his rear during a London show to protest consumerism:

“I chose the Barbie doll because it represents the oppression of women, the stereotype of femininity, the commercialization of sexuality, blah blah blah. But what I learned from the experience, at least in hindsight, is that if you’re going to make a satirical point involving putting things in your rectum, be selective. Don’t take requests from the audience.”

On his former cult TV show RE:Brand and the outrageous stunts he performed:

“That entire show was probably a cry for help. I was a junkie when that show was on the air. Within two or three months of it ending, I was in rehab. That was the last dice throw of a desperate man. It was less a cry for help than a mental breakdown on film. Jackass was a popular TV show at the time, and I was trying to do a psychological version of Jackass. When I watch it now, I still can’t believe half of what I was doing.”

On whether his character Aldous Snow will achieve more fame than him:

“If that happens I’ll destroy him. [laughs] Honestly, no, I’d be fine with that. My ego is big enough to compete with an alter ego…I can just pin all my bad behavior and poor decisions on him. ‘Oh goodness no, that was Aldous who was caught drunk driving. I never would have agreed to be in those terrible commercials. That was entirely Aldous’s idea. He must value money more than integrity.’ I can remain in the Van Gogh school of tortured genius, and he can deal solely with the commerce and the tabloids.”