Tears Of A Clown: ‘Greek’ Reminded Russell Brand About Past Drug Addiction

In the outrageous comedy Get Him To The Greek, British funny man Russell Brand plays the role of clueless rock & roll superstar Aldous Snow, who is attempting to make a musical comeback. As co-star Johan Hill and scene-stealer Sean “Diddy” Combs hustle to get Brand’s over-the-top character to play a career-reviving show at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater, he comically goes through groupies as quickly as he does drugs. Yet, Brand, who has had real-life battles with drug addiction in the past, says filming some of the more serious scenes proved to be a sobering and at times heavy experience.

“Those scenes where I had to [go through] a withdrawal from heroin brought back some memories for me,” the former stand-up comedian told VIBE. He notes that during those turbulent years as an addict, he used every drug under the sun, including crack. “When you can’t get heroin or if you are trying to kick the habit you get cold and sweaty then hot, cold and sweaty,” a stoic Brand continues. “Your legs are all kicking out and stuff. I remembered arguing, getting people to score [drugs] for me. Yeah, that’s dark.” 

But Brand still manages to put a humorous spin on his drugged-out period. “When I was taking a line in one of the [Get Him To The Greek] scenes they used this powder. I would go, ‘What is this powder?’ Because I was getting a buzz. They said it’s called organic matter. Now, that’s vague [laughs]. What does that even mean? I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Cocaine is probably organic matter.”

Get Him To The Greek opens today (June 4).—Keith Murphy

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