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Kidsday chats with Russell Brand

Actor and comedian, Russell Brand at Simon &

Actor and comedian, Russell Brand at Simon & Schuster in Manhattan with Kidsday reporters Alexa Heckman, Zuri Milliner, Makhi Harris, Sarah Manzanarez, ages 11 and 12 from Amityville and Copiague. Photo Credit: Simon & Schuster

We met actor, comedian and now author Russell Brand when he was in Manhattan recently. His first book, "Russell Brand's Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin," is a fun book for kids.

What inspired you to write a children's book?

Someone told me adults' minds are all cemented and full of information and beliefs. You, your little putty stupid child minds, the pathways, are not very formulated. So, when information goes in there, like little babies that learn languages really quickly, you have the capacity to hold all the information. So give these children a code: A fairy story is a code that gives you information that you wouldn't necessarily receive in any other format. If you try to tell someone, "Hey, be kind to other people, because other people are just like you," that's boring. If you put that in a format of a story, it stays in your brain.

What were your friends' reactions when you told them you were writing a children's book?

"Russell, you can't write a children's book because you are an adult." Or, because I use curse words, I talk about adult ideas, I have a bad reputation, I get in trouble with the police, "Can we trust you talking to children?" I'm comfortable with kids. I get along with them. A lot of people, I think, when they turn into adults, sort of forget the feeling of being a kid. I didn't forget.

How did you come up with the title?

This story was first compiled in "Grimm's Fairy Tales." Tales like the Pied Piper have been around for hundreds of years. It demonstrates a message that's important. . . . I didn't need to write the events of the Pied Piper, I just needed to make sure that it was relevant to people that are alive at this time, by using the kind of references that kids now would get, hopefully. Trickster Tales is something that the publishing company threw out. Trickster is a mythical character that is there to disrupt what is normal, to break the normal stuff.

Do you plan to write any more books?

Yeah, I'm going to write another one, "The Emperor's Clothes." Which is about this king who loves clothes and spent all his money on clothes. He's obsessed with it.

How long does it take you to do your hair?

Five hours every morning. I get up at 5 a.m. to get ready. People assist me with various sprays and tongs. It's a very difficult and laborious process. Not too long -- 10 minutes.

What do you do in your spare time?

Most of the time I do yoga or meditation. Yoga and meditation help you to solidify a relationship with something higher.


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