Russell Brand a ‘walking contradiction’ says director of new documentary

Ondi Timoner directed Brand: A Second Coming, which is released this week

The director of a new documentary about Russell Brand has described the comic “a walking contradiction”.

Brand: A Second Coming is a documentary film following the comedian and activist as he campaigns across the globe for various causes over the last six years. It’s directed by Ondi Timoner, who previously directed Dandy Warhols documentary Dig!.

Brand has distanced himseld from the film, however, and labelled it “oddly intrusive and melancholy”.

Speaking to NME, director Ondi Timoner criticised her subject and suggested he is not as genuine as he makes out. “He talks about us all being one, but he really does hold himself as ‘the royal Russell’ in so many ways,” Timoner said. “I think in a lot of ways he is a walking contradiction.”

The Canadian director added: “He’s still self-destructive. He’s invested six years in this film but he’s still trying to undercut it every step of the way.” The film was scheduled to premiere alongside a key-note speech from Brand himself at SXSW festival in March, but Brand pulled out at the last minute.

Brand: A Second Coming had a difficult production with several filmmakers, including Oliver Stone, dropping out of the project. “He threatened me by saying that if I didn’t change certain things, the film would never see the light of day,” Timoner said of Brand. “He wanted to control his image instead of allowing an authentic portrait to come out.”

Timoner however did reserve some praise for the political activist, claiming that her time spent with Brand helped her in unconventional ways. “He really challenged me and taught me a lot about how to work with words, rhythm and humour,” Timoner told NME.

Despite the testing process of the film, Timoner retains “the utmost respect” for Brand and his challenging of authority and capitalism. She added that she is “still cheering him on”.

Brand: A Second Coming is out this Friday (October 23) in the UK.