The film, which documents the star over a seven-year period, was scheduled to premiere on Friday evening, but Brand chose to opt out on the screening and delivery of his keynote speech because, he said, “for me watching it was very uncomfortable.”
“You’d think a narcissist would like nothing more than talking about themselves and their “rags to riches,” “hard luck” story,” Brand wrote, “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.”
Brand’s publicist told the LA Times that the doc’s star “would not be doing any interviews on behalf of the movie while in Austin, Texas. But he was still supposed to show up, and a party to celebrate the premiere was scheduled for Saturday evening as of Thursday.”
The comedian-actor-author admitted that he initially welcomed the project because of his “ego,” but has “transitioned from an attention-seeking missile, exploding into exhibitionism at every turn, into a man who, whilst still a show-off, was becoming disillusioned and disconnected from fame, celebrity and all it’s sticky ephemera.”
After multiple directors came and went, Ondi Timoner, who Brand wrote “is a very beautiful person and a director of peerless integrity,” picked up the project and brought it to its fruition.
He finished his post with an apology: “I apologise sincerely to the organisers of sxsw for my non-attendance, especially Janet Pierson, Brian Solis and Rynda Laurel from the interactive festival who were responsible for the keynote talk that I was due to do.”