A confessional from Russell Brand’s new documentary, has been leaked and has been made very viral indeed. In the extract taken from the BBC Three documentary entitled Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery, due to be aired later this week, Brand, 37, remarked that he “would rather be a drug addict than be famous”. He made this comment while being shown video footage of himself a decade earlier preparing and using heroin.
As a former addict, Brand admits that he is “jealous” of his former self and has confessed that he would trade his success and current lifestyle in favour of narcotics. “This is when you know it’s a disease,” he says in the revealing documentary. “It doesn’t matter that I was in that flat in Hackney and I’m now in the Savoy.”
However, what could be perceived as a flippant remark from the mouthy comedian has unleashed consternation and concern for Brand, who has been remained clean and sober for almost ten years. It is easy to believe that his recent divorce from pop star Katy Perry could have served as the catalyst for this outburst, but the reality is that it is an ongoing struggle staying clean, especially when living under the media microscope.
Yet there is no hint of glamourisation in his musings on the drug. “Heroin is a greedy drug, it’ll take everything, explains the former MTV presenter. “First it’ll take your money. Then it’ll take your friends, your family, your car, your house. Then it’s going to take bits of your body. In the end I used to be scoring with people that had eyes missing, limbs missing. You’ll take it until it takes your life. It’ll take everything until the last thing and you’ll gladly give it that rather than give up the drugs.”
Brand was never a shrinking violet, and never one to shy away from media attention and the limelight, so could this outburst be a plea for intervention, or attention? It appears that Brand is definitely not joking around on this issue, and the difference between the kohl-lined comic and the recovering addict becomes painfully clear in the documentary. The life of fame and the reality of the media have taken it’s toll on Brand, as the life of celebrity no longer holds the same allure it used to and he wistfully thinks of a life more fulfilling when spent with some needles and rat poison.
And in that statement alone lies the difference between onlookers and addicts. Onlookers will never truly understand addiction, but will just perceive its effects and judge the individual upon the risks and the implications in which their fulfilling their addiction entails. Regardless of the size of his Wikipedia page or the amount of newspaper columns he is capable of filling, we will never truly understand his addiction or his jealousy of the person he used to be.