Russell Brand is famous for his comedic roles in movies like “Get Him To The Greek” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” but behind the funny facade is an often lonely man with a tendency to do things in excess.
In the “CBS This Morning” ongoing segment “Note to Self,” Brand addresses his wilder younger years and gives himself advice on surviving drug addiction and the pitfalls of fame.
Read his full letter below:
Hello young man.
We’ve not spoken for a while because I’ve necessarily buried you beneath fathomless strata of bravado and glamour.
It will be good to have a chat though, because I know, of course I know, that you’re lonely, sad and that you think too much.
In fact, you do lot of things too much. For you, Sonny Jim, too much is going to become a bit of a theme. At the moment it’s too much chocolate and a bit too much TV but this helter skelter of excess will be steadily gaining momentum and pulling in new obsessions as it goes.
Drugs, porn, booze, sex, fame, money, other people’s approval are all going to be prized and pursued over the coming years.
The problem is, and I know you don’t know this, you’re good at getting stuff you want, so everything on that list — each word for you an exciting pang and a thrilling goal — will come into your little life and it falls to me to tell you that none of that stuff is going to help with the loneliness, thinking or sadness.
You know that you want to show off for a living and that you never want to be poor again. And you know you can make people laugh.
Now I’m not going to tell you to not take drugs or drink or go crazy chasing girls and fame — you hate being told what to do.
No, take all the drugs you want. Drink yourself into police cells and hospitals. Talk yourself into fights that are going to be hard to talk your way out of as you plunge into the powders and the rocks and bottles looking for something that’s not there.
It’s going to take you to some dark places and you’re going to meet some desperate people, in crack houses and whore houses, in parties so glamorous that they’re lit by flash bulbs and other people’s envious attention.
In all those places you’re gonna see the same sadness and feel the same loneliness.
Do it all. Go nuts. You’re gonna do it anyway. Just know that it can’t make you happy.
In fact, no externally acquired thing can help you.
Just to take some of the pressure off, let me tell you, you are going to do some amazing things that are going to blow your mind.
You are going to get rich and famous and travel the world, meet loads, seriously kiddo, loads of unbelievable girls and there will be moments when you enjoy it.
But I know for a fact what you already suspect. None of this stuff is the answer.
There’s a thing that you’re good at; making people laugh and connecting with them. That’s cool. It’s really cool. Look after that, it’s going to look after you.
But know too that not everyone’s going to like you. That doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you like you.
I want to tell you you’re alright. You have everything you need already. Try to listen to that quiet voice because that’s the thing you’re looking for. Some people call it love, others call it connectivity and others call it God. It’s there, it’s always been there, and it will always been there. And if you look after it, it will look after you.
P.S. Remember to pray, do yoga, eat well and wear condoms. Only during sex though, people already think you’re weird.
Brand tweeted about his “note to self” on Wednesday:
Watch him read the letter on “CBS This Morning” below:
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