Actor, comedian and writer Russell Brand has confessed he is “not stinky rich anymore” after giving away a lot of his wealth.
He told how he has made a series of life changes over the last months – for which he credits the influence of his wife Laura Gallacher and the birth of their baby daughter – in a bid to find a “different kind of connection”.
He is now sharing his wisdom with his fans with a new self-help book, which he is also bringing to the London stage next month.
Commenting on society’s “obsession” with money and material things, the 42-year-old told ITV’s This Morning on Friday: “I’m lucky because I have been dirty poor and now I’m stinky rich – not that rich actually, I gave away a lot.
“But it doesn’t make that much difference. I am (now) in a position of privilege, there’s no question about it, so in a way I am sort of qualified for it.
“I am not trying to motivate anyone into trying to get their hands on a stack of cash, it’s more like a motivation to recognise that you probably already have what you need and, while you can purchase pleasure with a big stack of cash, you cannot purchase happiness.
“I don’t necessarily think that penury is the answer, it’s not necessarily the answer to give up everything, but I think it’s about finding a different kind of connection in yourself.”
As well as starring in a number of movies, including a lead role in Get Him To The Greek, Brand is a familiar face on television screens and the stage, and hosts his own weekend radio show.
Brand’s book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions comes following his years of addiction and “obsessions” with “drugs, sex and food”.
Explaining how he got over his issues, he said: “Because I was a very, very severe type addict character… I now have to be very aware about what’s stimulating me.”
He paid tribute to Gallacher, who he said “doesn’t care about showing off,” and almost-one-year-old Mabel for changing his life and admitted: “I’m a big fan of Strictly (Come Dancing) now.”
He took a moment to praise presenter Ruth Langsford’s performance on the BBC One contest so far and teased her co-host and husband, Eamonn Holmes: “I hope you are helping her practise with the tango, even if it’s horizontal, Eamonn.”
Known for his previously outspoken views on politics, Brand admitted that he now feels that there are “better ways of changing people” than dabbling in affairs in the news.
“When I got into that politics game I made some mistakes because I’m a very egotistical man,” he said.
“Now I want to make sure that I do things with the right intention, to help people improve their own lives.”