Russell Brand, What a Firework!, with HOP Giveaway

Russell Brand may be best known for his adult humor and over-the-top portrayal as Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, or even to some for his recent marriage to singer Katy Perry.

When the new family film HOP opens on April 1, audiences should be prepared to welcome him as a fantastic source of laughter for the younger set as well, as the voice of E.B. Not ready to take over for his father the Easter Bunny, E.B. flees to Hollywood to pursue his musical career, but when his path crosses with Fred O’Hare, played by James Marsden, both of their lives will be forever changed.

I’m thrilled to be able to say that I recently spent about twenty minutes in Russell Brand’s presence, and it was the funniest experience I believe I’ve ever had. From the moment Russell Brand joined the group of parenting bloggers assembled to participate in the roundtable interview, he commanded the conversation, in a hilarious way. While the discussion included lots of silly jokes about “Mummy Bloggers,” as Brand charmingly referred to us in his distinct accent, he also talked at length about the construct of the movie and its connections to cultural folklore and tradition. Honestly, I could have listened to him go on and on, hilariously or seriously, all day long.

How was it recording the voice for E.B., as opposed to filming a scene with other actors?

“Lonely. What we should have had is we should have packed that booth with Mummy Bloggers to give me something to do and an audience to play to. Tim Hill, the director, he’s nice and he was encouraging to me.

They stuck me in a booth and just left me in there. I was lonely. There were some carrots. They said it would help with the character. I don’t like carrots. I could see better, though.”

See what I mean? For the full effect, you have to try to hear him say it in your head, rapid-fire and full of laughter.

Did they film the live part of it first?

“No. They animate to your voice, so that’s good because you can change things and make decisions. They show a script and then I always change it because then I feel that I have more ownership of it and I feel that it’s funnier. As a comedian, you have to be funny. Otherwise, they will take your card.”

I have no fear that anyone will be taking his comedian card, ever. As talk turned more to the themes of the movie, the humor blended with more serious evaluation, as well.


What is it that makes E.B. memorable?

“Well, firstly, he looks crazy. He’s a rabbit and he doesn’t have any trousers or pants on. That’s peculiar. I remember that, myself.

And he has an evocative and playful spirit. The rabbit is a symbol in Native American mythology of the trickster often seen as the messenger between gods and man. Like Prometheus in ancient myth, who nicked fire from the gods, rabbits are almost mischievous. They’re always nicking our crops if you’re an agricultural type person.”

Since children’s literature plays a big role in both my family and professional lives, I appreciated the attention paid to that traditional role of the rabbit in lore and literature!

On the “realness” of the Easter Bunny:

“In your position as Mummy Bloggers, it’s important to keep up the idea that the Easter Bunny is real. I temporarily possessed him. Is that weird? Is that going to help? I possessed the Easter Bunny temporarily and was able to provide him with a voice. I have got a double identity where, by night, I transform into a rabbit, which is a difficult and painful process where my fangs grow and my fur grows and I contort like a werewolf.”

As you can imagine, the entire group was consumed by laughter while chatting with Russell Brand. Happily, I’m confident saying that adults and children alike will do the same when watching HOP, coming out in theaters tomorrow, April 1!

Photo Courtesy of Chris and Kristen Photography

Are you and your kids looking forward to the movie HOP? We’re excited to offer one lucky reader a fabulous prize pack of goodies from the movie:

  • 2 Plush dolls
  • Pink Beret
  • E.B.’s Drumsticks
  • Coloring book with crayons
  • Watercolor activity book
  • Silly Bandz
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Bouncy Ball
  • T-shirt
  • Hat
  • Figurine
  • Jellybean Dispenser

Giveaway courtesy of Universal Pictures. To enter, please leave a comment, U.S. mailing addresses only. We’ll announce our winner on 4/9.

This weekend in L.A. left me completely starstruck and so excited to share this movie with my own children. I’m not done talking about it here, though, so please check out these other posts related to my HOP experience:

Disclosure: Universal Studios paid my expenses to attend the press junket for Hop, but any opinions about the experience or the movie are completely my own.

5 Minutes for Books reviewer Dawn lives to laugh, and she makes frequent attempts at humor on her blog, my thoughts exactly. She also wonders if anyone caught the joke in the title of this very post!


Comments

  1. Janet says

    Great writeup! I saw Russell Brand on the Today Show this morning and he was a hoot & a half with Meredith in regards to the movie. I didn’t know too much about him ahead of time and found him absolutely darling. I can’t wait to see the movie with my family.

    • says

      I’ll have to find the piece online, Janet- thanks for the heads up. Meredith Viera also appeared in GET HIM TO THE GREEK as herself trying to interview a very out-of-it Aldous Snow (RB). I think she appreciates his sense of humor!

  2. says

    I can’t believe I missed Russell Brand!!!!!!!!!!! Dawn — how much do you LOVE me for not being able to go! lol
    FABULOUS write up too — you can count on more trips! :)

    • says

      Oh Janice- this was seriously the highlight of my year- such an amazing trip and absolutely OTHER WORLDLY! I so appreciate the opportunity to go and represent 5 Minutes for Mom.

      Thanks for your kind words about the piece– I tried my best! :)

  3. says

    I love this man….he makes me laugh out loud!!! I didn’t know he was possessing the Easter Bunny in this movie. I was a bit intrigued before…NOW, I simply MUST see it!!

  4. says

    I’m so glad he was “clean” because I’ve only heard him be raunchy before, but he sounds like such a funny guy!! Love the comment about the rabbit without any pants on :) I would love to win this prize package for my kids!

  5. says

    Looking forward to a fun movie for my 4 year old to see. The interview sounds hilarious – hope that means the movie will appeal to both adults and kids!

  6. Eileen says

    This sounds like a riot! We keep seeing the previews for and seeing alot of Brand on talk shows. I had forgotten he had a part in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but my hubby noticed!
    What a great giftbasket for my 3 and 5 year old grandkids. and even a cute lil stuffed toy for their new baby sister born 2 weeks ago!

    thanks!

  7. says

    We can’t wait to see HOP. My kids have been watching the trailers over and over. I just KNEW it was Russell Brand doing the voice of E.B. I think I have a serious crush on him…yikes! I love him in Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.
    Great interview. Thanks!!

      • says

        You haven’t seen Despicable Me? See it soon! It’s one of my very most favorite movies. We’ve watched it repeatedly. Too cute…and way too funny.

        • says

          I know!! My kids and hubby rented it (I had a trip last month for a family funeral that I went on solo), and they all loved it. I know they won’t mind watching it again, so we’ll be renting it again soon!

  8. Dara says

    I’ve never been a fan of Russell Brand…I’m just not into his style of humor, especially since my kids are old enough to start asking questions about what things mean! However, we are all looking forward to seeing this movie! Well, except for Shelby…but then again, at 3 weeks, how much can she legitimately see anyway?!!? hehe great write up, Dawn!

      • says

        YAY!! You win the nonexistent/just in my mind prize for most observant reader, Dara!! :) I’ve had that song in my head all week while I was putting together these pieces!

        • says

          Dawn that song is in my head ALL the time, because they play it all the time — in the mall, on televised sporting events etc etc, so I can’t believe that was not my go to thought on the title.

          So I admire Dara’s catch on the reference.

  9. says

    Well, you know we’re going to see this on opening weekend – because my son Jacob has been talking about this movie forever. He’s on the autism spectrum and his current obsession is… movies. I hear all day long about what movies are opening on what date and who stars in them (if it’s significant like Jack Black or Johnny Depp) and what they are rated.

    And so we go see ALL of them (unless they are “NOT a real Kids movie, honey” – like Red Riding Hood) and at least twice (because that way Mommy gets a 2 hour break on a weekend of all-working-with-the-kid-all-the-time).

    Glad it’s actually entertaining & delightful. I’m always MUCH happier when I don’t feel like pulling my eyeballs out for 2 hours.

  10. AutumH says

    I like Russel Brand as an actor,my husband and I can watch Forgetting Sara Marshall over and over. Granted most of his films are not child appropriate so it will be interesting to see how he does in HOP! I think it looks adorable and am thrilled that it is done by the same people who did Despicable Me. My kids and I look forward to seeing it.

    • says

      I thought the movie as a whole was very appropriate, and I tend to be quite sensitive about “adult humor” that gets put too often in kids’ movies, in my opinion. I’m planning on bringing my 3.5, almost 5, and 10 year old kids to see it.

  11. Karen Propes says

    I love Russell Brand and so look forward to seeing the movie Hop. There is something about his voice thats makes you stop and think. He’s so witty and funny. His voice is perfect for the rabbit. Every time the commercial comes on we all stop to watch. Don’t go alone, take others to share in the laughter….
    ncjeepster@aol.com

  12. says

    Great write up! We’re looking forward to the movie! We’ve seen the commercials the last week, my kids think the bunny is hilarious! Can’t wait!!

  13. says

    We saw a commercial for this movie the other day, and when my daughter saw E.B. she yelled, “I love that guy!” I think taking her and her siblings to the movie will be a hoot…for all of us! :-)

  14. Geoff says

    Were the two male bloggers in your bunch offended to be called Mummy bloggers? Did they get their own category or was that glossed over?

    • says

      Thankfully, on all the “official” paperwork, our group was referred to as the Parenting Blogger group. The “Mommy blogger” label must have been used in prepping Russell Brand before joining us, because that’s what he came in saying, but he even corrected himself when he saw the men and included “Daddy Bloggers” at that time. Both Dan and Matt were both really laid-back guys who basically gave off a “no worries” kind of vibe in response to it, and the joke became all about his accent turning it into Mummy. And really, this guy is just so flirtatious he was playing to the Mummies in the group- as he said in an interview on the Today Show this morning, “I have a rapport with women.” :)

  15. Colleen Turner says

    My son is biting at the bit to see this movie! I find Russell Brand absolutely hilarious so I can’t wait to see it either. Thanks for the giveaway and awesome interview!

  16. Alison S. says

    My son seems very interested by the previews, but I haven’t found them that interesting. We’ll probably watch it and I hope it turns out well. :)

  17. says

    My 5yo son and I are both really looking forward to this movie. I am a huge fan of Russell Brand and am excited to see his portrayal of E.B. in HOP.

    Awesome prize pack! My children would both be ecstatic.

  18. says

    My boys have seen the trailer to this twice now and can’t wait to see it. I would lkove to win this so I could actually take them to it before Easter instead of waiting until it come to the “cheap theater” (second run)

  19. says

    I adore Russell Brand. In fact I now have to love Katy Perry, because he does, LOL. My 6 year old nephew would peak out with this Easter present.

    : 0 )

  20. Jayde says

    I have to say that I have really fallen in love with Russell Brand and I am looking forward to taking my girls to this movie as well as seeing the remake of the movie Arthur

  21. Christine Jensen says

    My kids can’t wait to see this movie (and we are going, since they have spring break this week!)

  22. says

    We are so excited to see Hop! The commercials look adorable. My son and his friends were so excited about seeing the jellybean scene on the ads!

  23. Kelly Ann T. says

    Even my husband is looking forward to seeing this movie with the family. This prize package is wonderful too.

  24. Danielle W says

    We went and saw it Sunday it was fabulously funny. My daughter even got the kids popcorn with soda pack and the tray was decorated in the Hop theme.

    texaswaitress (at) live (dot) com

  25. Kathy Dunaway says

    We plan to go and see the movie this coming week end. It looks like a fun movie. Thanks for the giveaway:)

  26. Rachel says

    This looks like an adorable movie. It’s actually going to be playing at a drive in near me so we considered taking our daughter to see it. :)

  27. Christina says

    My kids love the trailer (and there is a billboard on the way to school) – they can’t wait to see the movie!

  28. lisa schaffer says

    My husband I took the kids and we all loved it. I love the fact that Universal Pictures made such a family friendly movie… We need more movies that the whole family can attend and talk about for years to come. Plus, Russell Brand playing EB was great. I was hoping that one of the female characters would be named Katy becuase I LOVe hearing Russell say K A T Y…. My teenager loved it too…

  29. Ellie W says

    I plan on taking my two little grandsons to see this.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  30. Jill Myrick says

    This is too adorable and my daughter would love it.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway.

    jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

  31. Pauline M says

    My daughter went to see this with her friends and loved it! Now she’s begging to have all of us go so she can see it again!

  32. Shelagh says

    My kids and I are loving the commercials for this movie and we are looking forward to see it in the theaters.

  33. beveanne mckinleyt says

    i followed you on facebook and gfc i love the previews and am hoping they hid a lotr of coolsurprises like an easter egg contest.

  34. Justine says

    We’re def looking forward to seeing this, I never used to like Russell but now I love him! He was awesome on SNL so I am now a huge fan 😀

  35. Kari in Wyoming says

    We took the family last weekend and thoruoghly enjoyed it….this weekend my son is talking all his friends!

  36. says

    i have seen this movie and loved it! i am going back with my grand kids today. they cant wait and i cant wait till it comes out on dvd!! ill be one of the first to run out and buy it!!!!!!!

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