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Friday
Jun052015

Brian Wilson Says New Biopic "Brings Back Some Good Memories and Some Lousy Memories"

Lionsgate/Roadside AttractionLove & Mercy, the new biopic about Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, opens in select U.S. theaters today.  The movie focuses on two dramatic periods in the musician's life -- the mid-to-late 1960s, when Wilson was at his creative peak, and the late 1980s, when he was struggling with mental health issues and was under the influence of the now-discredited psychotherapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

Wilson tells ABC Radio that watching his life depicted in the film made him feel "nostalgic," while "bring[ing] back some good memories and some lousy memories."

Two different actors appear as Brian at different points in his life in the movie, with Paul Dano and John Cusack taking on the respective roles of the younger and middle-aged Wilson.  Brian says he was pleased with both actors' portrayal of him, and thought that Love & Mercy depicted the events in his life in a factual manner.  One highlight that Wilson says was accurate was a scene that showed him directing the sessions for the innovative 1966 Beach Boys album Pet Sounds.

As for his favorite part of the film, Brian says that was a scene that showed his future-wife Melinda, played by Elizabeth Banks, helping him stand up to the manipulative Landy, portrayed by Paul Giamatti.

The parts of Love & Mercy that Wilson says he didn't like included scenes that featured Landy being abusive and controlling toward him, and segments that showed the disorienting effects of his drug use, particularly LSD.

"LSD was very, very...not a good drug," he tells ABC Radio.  It was very hallucinatory, causes auditory hallucinations.  And, it's just a screwed-up drug."

Cusack says he completely understands Wilson having bad feelings about watching some of the negative aspects of his life portrayed on the big screen.

"I think just to relive painful parts of your life or parts when you were in a bad space has got to be intense," the actor tells ABC Radio.  "I mean, if I had a film of my life when I was in my darkest hour...it would freak me out."

Cusack reveals that prior to landing the part of Wilson, he wasn't too familiar with the specifics of Brian's life during the '80s.  He explains that in preparing for the role, he spent time talking to Brian, as well as Melinda and other people close to him, but adds that he also got a lot of insight into Wilson just by listening to his music.

"Brian expresses himself through his music, you know, much more than verbally," John maintains, "so you can find the answers in all of his music."

Cusack also addressed the potential problems posed by having two actors appearing as Wilson in the same flick.

"The fact that we have two different actors playing Brian means that there is no one definitive Brian," John maintains.  "But if Paul and I are singing our own song about Brian, hopefully they'll harmonize and become even a third one."

Meanwhile, Wilson tells ABC Radio that he doesn't know whether any of his old Beach Boys band mates have seen Love & Mercy yet, but admits that he is "very concerned" about what they'll think of it.  "I just hope they like it," he says.

Visit LoveandMercyFilm.com to check out more details about the movie.

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