Russell Brand is looking to mix things up for his second go at hosting the MTV Video Music Awards. During his inaugural gig last year, the British comedian
"I don't think Russell's looking this year to say, 'How can I be even more controversial?' " explained VMA executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic. "He wants to come out and celebrate with the audience. I don't think he's looking to shock or upset people. He believes in love! He wants love!"
One person he has a lot of love for is Britney Spears, with whom he collaborated once again for some VMA promos. In 2008, the pair hung out in a warehouse, as an elephant stood behind them and Russell whispered to Brit, "Ooh, you smell nice!" This year, their hectic schedules prevented them from actually getting in the same room together, but they nonetheless managed to pull off a wacky promo in which the voices in their heads merge as they fret over the impressions they made on each other in 2008.
"They really wanted to do something together," Ignjatovic explained. "She loves Russell. They found a way — being that they weren't even in the same city — and just thinking, 'How can we do something together even though our schedules are so crazy that we can't be in the same place to do it?' That concept is Russell's brilliance. He came up with a way to be in a promo with Britney and also to further his desires of being with Britney. So he killed two birds with one stone."
Another coup for Brand is the fact that the VMAs have touched down in the New York after taking place last year in Los Angeles, as the comedian is a huge fan of the Big Apple. "He's really thrilled that it's in New York," Ignjatovic said. "He has a lot of fans in this city. He couldn't be more excited."
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards air live this Sunday, September 13, at 9 p.m. ET, but New York is celebrating the VMAs all week long! Stay tuned for party coverage, concert reports, behind-the-scenes updates and more.