Brooks brotherly love

Rating: NNNNNBrothers Adam and Daniel Brooks are both writers and directors, but there's a huge difference in the type of.


Rating: NNNNN


Brothers Adam and Daniel Brooks are both writers and directors, but there’s a huge difference in the type of work they do.

If you know anything about local or even national theatre, you know Daniel’s work on shows like Half Life, Insomnia and his many collaborations with Daniel MacIvor. But who knew that his older brother Adam penned movies like Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, Wimbledon and this week’s release, Definitely, Maybe?

“We were more interested in sports when we were kids,” says Adam, who’s more outwardly animated than the reserved Daniel. “I was the older brother, so I tormented him a lot.”

“Yeah, he won, I lost,” says Daniel, “so he makes movies about people who usually win, and I often do plays about people who don’t.”

“Oh, he plays the struggling artist part,” laughs Adam. “And he takes advantage of the wealth of the world.”

Bam! Sounds like a sports match to me.

Their first collaborations involved dreaming up ideas for their advertising exec father’s Bulova watch campaign and performing them in their Toronto basement as teenagers.

“I remember seeing one of the concepts actually appearing later in the U.S.,” says Daniel.

They also both recall taking part in a post-hippie summer camp, where Rick Salutin was the resident philosopher and they put on shows like Marat/Sade.

“After that summer camp, we went from reading The Lord Of The Rings to Kurt Vonnegut,” says Adam.

During the writing of Definitely, Maybe, Adam came to Toronto for a week to hash out some script problems with his brother.

“I was beginning to lose my perspective on the script,” says Adam. “We’re very good sounding boards for the other – at the right moment.”

The two tried co-writing something a few years ago, but it didn’tturn into anything. It’s still a dream of theirs.

“I was reading some of it a while ago, and it’s hilarious,” says Daniel.

“Some fragments were good,” says Adam. “Maybe we just didn’t have enough time.”

A slick but superficial Hollywood-type character popped up in Daniel’s play Insomnia, and occasionally people ask Adam what he thought of the guy.

“I was tickled that there were things I had said – in a humorous way- that he was able to use or steal and make even funnier,” says Adam. “What I loved about it is what I love about all good work.

It’s both completely fictional and yet you know it’s absolutely personal. It’s the same with my work.”

Daniel, a winner of the prestigious Siminovitch Prize and thecurrent artistic director of Necessary Angel Theatre, says his early dynamic with his brother shaped the way he works.

“With (Daniel) MacIvor and others, there’s a model of a certain kind of relationship that has been fairly consistent in my life. I tend to work with bright, charismatic men. Adam is part of that. As you can see, he’s talking more than I am.”

Here Adam laughs.

“I tend,” continues Daniel, “to slip into the background a littlemore. I was always the kid in school who pushed the class clown to perform. I probably deliberately didn’t follow him into film because it was his territory.”

The two acknowledge the huge economic gap separating their work, although Adam initially started out in independent film. (His first script won an award at Sundance.) Daniel recalls visiting Adam and seeing how much money he spent on things.

“He lives on a different economic level,” he says.

Adam, meanwhile, says he envies his brother’s ability to put on a show.

“He can fill up a theatre with ideas and then people. Some of the best scripts I’ve written never got made because they weren’t commercial enough or we couldn’t raise the money or the right actor didn’t want to do it. After all that work, what is it? A screenplay that is not shot has no meaning.”

Read an interview with DEFINITELY, MAYBE star Ryan Reynolds here.

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