The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency.)
He went on to obtain an A.A., a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught various courses in a variety of disciplines throughout North Carolina. He is committed to increasing the awareness and understanding of the dual diagnosed. Conversations Among Ruins (All Things That Matter Press, 2014) is his first novel. His second novel, The Brothers’ Keepers: A Nicholas Branson Novel–Book 1 (Melange Books, 2016), is a political-religious thriller that capitalizes on his love for history and research. Currently, he is working on the next book in the Nicholas Branson series. He is a member of International Thriller Writers. Take it away, Matthew and thanks so much for joining us today!
Who would you cast as the main characters in a Hollywood adaption of your novel?
I would have so much fun casting the roles for a movie version of The Brothers’ Keepers! Quite honestly, I’ve given considerable thought to this issue (what writer hasn’t?), and in consultation with my significant other, have reached the following conclusions.
First, to the all-important question of who would play Nicholas Branson, the answer is Hugh Jackman. Why, you might ask? Well, the role of Nicholas Branson needs to be cast with an eye toward a mature actor, one who can credibly combine Branson’s high intellect with his alcoholism and a somewhat stilted emotional maturation. The role is sometimes physically demanding, so we’d need someone in very good shape, for which Mr. Jackman fits the bill.
In addition, many times while watching a thriller, I’ve wanted the main character to bust out a tune, and, if you’ve seen Les Misérables, you know Hugh can do it. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But the most important reason to cast Jackman as the lead male protagonist is because my girlfriend told me I had to. <grin> You might ask why I just didn’t start out by saying this, thereby saving us all some time. I could have, but then you would’ve missed out on all the fun.
When it comes to casting the lead female role, Jessica Jones, I have to go with Scarlett Johansson. Why Scarlett? Because of her range, her versatility, her instincts, her…ahem, well, let’s just leave it at that. But I think Ms. Johansson has the necessary spark and wittiness to play the part. The final reason is that if my girlfriend gets Hugh, I get Scarlett. Oh, and that ability to burst out in song? Well, our Scarlett is no stranger to the musical scene. In fact, if you’ve never heard her sing, do check out her debut studio album, Anywhere I Lay My Head. But let’s face facts for a minute. Even if Scarlett couldn’t carry a tune though her hand was dipped in paste, who really cares? She’s perfect for the role of Jessica Jones, and once you read the book you’ll see why.
I can’t cast too many more actors without spoiling the plot, but there is one other person who plays a rather large part in the story—the wicked, formidable cardinal, Dottrina. Since the marvelously talented Alan Rickman is no longer with us, that leaves just one person who truly fits the bill: Gary Oldman. And just in case you’re wondering about the prospects for a sing-off with the protagonists, just watch this YouTube video of Oldman singing one of David Bowie’s classic hits at an L.A. tribute to the pop icon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COZqtPADejM. Oldman is more than simply Count Dracula or Lee Harvey Oswald—he’s a villain with a voice. Plus, he’s the one person on whom my girlfriend and I agree. And that, of course, is the clincher.
Now let me ask you: Who would you cast for the movie version of your novel?
Links for Matthew and his book, The Brothers' Keepers: