Hours before the world premiere of Brand: A Second Coming, the Russell Brand documentary that's headlining South by Southwest's first night, Brand himself announced that he won't be in attendance. In a statement on his official website, the comedian stated that the film, while likely good, felt "oddly intrusive and melancholy."
"You’d think a narcissist would like nothing more than talking about themselves and their 'rags to riches', 'hard luck' story," he writes, "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."
"You'd think a narcissist would like nothing more than talking about themselves."
Brand, which took seven years to finally complete, is the latest documentary by Dig! and We Live In Public director Ondi Timoner. The film follows Brand's rise to fame, his battles with addiction, and the breakdown of his relationship with Katy Perry. In an interview with Indiewire, Timoner said that Brand was never entirely comfortable with her uncompromising portrait of him, but nevertheless allowed her to make it. "I don't know if he'll ever really be at peace with it," she said.
Brand was also scheduled to give a keynote address tonight, titled "The Revolution Will Be Televised," but that too has been cancelled, and SXSW's organizers haven't yet found another lanky English comedian to replace him.