Russell Brand, famous funny man, fast talker, and champion of truth in the media, bailed on his scheduled appearance at the worldwide premiere of director Ondi Timoner’s documentary, Brand: A Second Coming. As the film was set to screen at SXSW on Friday, this classifies the decision as coming pretty close to the 11th hour, but apparently Brand was uncomfortable with the idea of reliving his past, as he wrote in a statement on his official site. Brand is a hard look at the actor’s journey to fame, including his much-publicized battle with addiction and “Hot N Cold” (sorry) relationship with Katy Perry. The film took seven years and “as many directors to complete,” according to Brand in his statement.
It at least seems as though Brand understands the irony of this news given his notorious attention-grabbing demeanor, explaining in his long-winded excuse, “You’d think a narcissist would like nothing more than talking about themselves and their ‘rags to riches’, ‘hard luck’ story but actually, it felt like, to me, my life was hard enough the first time round and going through it again was painful and sad.” He does finish the letter by apologizing to the SXSW Interactive organizers for his absence, who were likely less than thrilled with the last minute information that the subject of their opening night film wouldn’t get on stage to say whatever came to mind for two minutes.
To be fair, Timoner did admit in an interview with Indiewire that she doesn’t “know if he’ll ever really be at peace” with the film and even warned that Brand might skip the premiere if it felt too “hard for him” to share the experience with an audience. Looks like she was right, and because reliving a troublesome past and having your every move viewed under a microscope must be a bit uncomfortable, we’ll cut some slack on Brand here. Maybe just cancel the Google Calendar invite a bit earlier next time, Russell.