Brand & Hill on Arthur, 21 Jump Street remakes

Renee here,

Moviehole caught up with cinema’s wild man Russell Brand and cohort Jonah Hill yesterday, who are in town to promote the release of “Get Him to the Greek”.

When Brand slapped me as hard as he reckons Rose Byrne did while they were shooting ”Get Him To The Greek, my hand was still stinging an hour later”.

The second slap was even harder than the first.

Just as I got the wind-up signal to finish the interview, I asked Russell about landing the lead role in the re-make of the much loved classic comedy ”Arthur” (1981) starring Dudley Moore.

What are you going to bring of Russell Brand to the character that’s different to the original?
I’m different to differ from Dudley Moore in several ways. I’m quite tall -
- he’s dead -
I am alive. I think that is one of the things that edged me ahead of Dudley when they were re-casting. I love Dudley Moore and I don’t want to say anything disrespectful about him.
He speaks very highly of you.
Listen, what is this personality you’ve developed? [laughs]. What’s going on? Were you in a borstal?
A what?
A borstal or an orphanage or a home for troubled girls?
I actually was.
Were you?
Yeah. Our Lady Of No Mercy College.
I knew this.
Could you smell it?
It’s not the smell. It’s more of a sense. It’s how you vibrate.
Thanks – I’ve just been told to wrap it up.
Oh… [sad] You’re really attractive.
So are you.

At the same junket, I got to talk to Jonah Hill who gave an update on his next two projects – the movie version of the TV show that gave Johnny Depp his start and the big feature in which he’ll co-star with Brad Pitt.

What’s next for you, Jonah?
I did a movie called Cyrus which comes out soon and we’re premiering it at the Sydney Film Festival [the Australian premiere]. It’s dramatic and funny in tone – more in the line of Sideways or Little Miss Sunshine or Juno, I guess. I have a kind of serious part in that – I play Cyrus. So there’s me and John C Reilly and Marisa Tomei. Then Bennett Miller who directed Capote saw that movie [Cyrus] and so he casted me as the 2nd lead in this big drama called Moneyball with Brad Pitt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright.
We’re shooting 21 Jump St in January/February. We’re really excited about that. We basically just loved the idea of young looking cops getting to go back to high school. It’s not like a direct interpretation of Johnny Depp’s character. We did write a cameo for Johnny Depp that he has expressed interest in so we’ll see. Hopefully that happens.

At the end of the interview Russell urged me to ‘tuck in’ tight against him for a photo [below]. The hug was hard and boisterous. I could still feel it as I walked away.

It didn’t hurt as much as the slap though.

But hey – it was fun to get Russell Branded.