April 20, 2011 11:08:00 GMT
Russell Brand fears his portrayal of a drunk in Arthur isn't as light-hearted as Dudley Moore's original turn - because alcoholism is now viewed as a disease and not a 'giggly and frivolous' matter.
The British funnyman, Russell Brand stepped into Moore's shoes to play the millionaire playboy in a remake of the iconic 1981 comedy, but admits it was a challenge to portray a booze-addled character when substance abuse is now considered taboo.
He tells Britain's Independent newspaper, "Dudley's performance really stands out because it wasn't like it was a chilling portrayal of the horrors of alcoholism. It was really a device for clowning and facilitating physical comedy."
"But nowadays you have to address the fact that alcohol is a problem. Aldous Snow, the previous lunatic drunk I've played (in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), was a dark, bleak character, whereas "Arthur" is far more merry and twinkly. But I think that anyone who drinks that much is an alcoholic."
"Alcohol now is recognised as a disease and a social problem, not something we can be all giggly and frivolous about. So my own Arthur, whilst he's still a raving alcoholic, he doesn't get away with it in the way that Dudley did. In those days, clearly, it wasn't a problem for people to be alcoholics. People were dying of alcoholism and it was considered fun."