Silver Linings Playbook Author Matthew Quick Video Interview On Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
Matthew Quick is the mastermind behind the novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, recently adapted into the David O. Russell film starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The journey in writing Silver Linings was a long one for the author. “I knew there was something inside of me that had to come out,” Quick told Uinterview exclusively, “and the best part of me was dying, I knew that I needed to make art and that’s what I did.” Indeed! Since its release, Silver Linings has been nominated for eight Academy Awards.
Quick, 40, got his degree in English literature at La Salle University. Soon after, he earned his MFA from Goddard College and began his career as a high school English teacher in New Jersey, but quit to pursue his career as an author. Deciding to move into his in-laws’ basement, he began to write Silver Linings, which was published in 2008. Other works by Quick include Sorta Like A Rockstar in 2010 and Boy21, published in 2012.
Quick was stunned to see his characters come to life on the big screen. “I think Bradley Cooper did a fantastic job,” he told Uinterview. “I think his interpretation was just amazing. Jennifer Lawrence was pretty close to what I envisioned when I was writing. She just explodes on the screen the whole time.”
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It wasn’t surprising to me. I think Bradley Cooper did a fantastic job. I think his interpretation was just amazing and he had me through the whole performance. I’ve told him that and I am very grateful to him. His Pat is a little different than the Pat in the book. Pat in the book has a little bit more going on than Bradley’s Pat in the film, so it’s slightly different, but both are very near and dear to my heart.
You know what, Jennifer Lawrence was pretty close to what I envisioned when I was writing. She just explodes on the screen the whole time. She's really the catalyst to make Pat look at his life, and to make some changes, and that's exactly the role that she plays in the book, too.
You know for me, for a long time in my life, I hid most of my quirks. I’m somebody who deals with depression, I have anxiety issues, I have an offbeat sense of humor, and I’ve suppressed that in myself for a very long time. When I was teaching high school English, my favorite kids were the ones that would be the self proclaimed freaks, the kids that didn’t fit in, the kids who weren’t part of the herd. They were always the most interesting to me. They were always the kids who wrote the best essays, and so you know, when I started to write, I realized that when we celebrate our quirks, and we allow ourselves to be who we really are, we allow ourselves to be the best that we can be. And in order to separate myself as an artist, I had to draw on what makes me different from everyone else, and that’s when I started to learn to embrace my quirks.
We didn’t discuss the film at all before we shot it. I met David on movie set and we talked briefly. We started to dialogue a lot more during the promotion process. You know for me when I write, I have to go in alone in a room, I don’t want anyone looking over my shoulder when I write and I think David needed some room to do what he had to do to make the film. Since the film has been finished, we’ve had many conversations, done a lot of interviews together. It’s really been a pleasure to get to know David.
It was a tough time. I hit 30, and I'd always wanted to write, and I had tenure at a great school, I had a house in a great neighborhood, I did the American dream, but it wasn't what I wanted. I felt trapped, and so when I left to write in a basement, I always say to the high school kids when I go visit high schools - when you're 17 and you want to be a novelist, and you tell people, they think it's cute. When you're thirty and you have a job and you say Iâm going to write a novel in a basement, people think that you've lost it. And that's how people made me feel. It was a very lonely time for three years when I was writing because there weren't many people that believed I could make it this far, but I knew there was something inside of me that had to come out, and the best part of me was dying, I knew that I needed to make art and that's what I did.