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The True Story Behind The Film 'Love And Mercy'

For nearly 20 years, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys was under the supposed care of a supposed doctor named Eugene Landy. In reality, Landy manipulated the singer with drugs and abusive, controlling behavior into becoming, essentially, a slave, controlled and exploited by his caretaker. Landy used Wilson to make an excessive amount of money, and he capitalized on the Beach Boys' fame to his own benefit. 

The 2015 film Love and Mercy depicts this period of Brian Wilson's life with incredible accuracy, and it gives insight into the distressing, previously untold story of Wilson's relationship with his manipulative therapist. Wilson himself has seen the movie – and commented on its eerily precise representation of his own troubles.

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  • Wilson Thinks "Love And Mercy" Is Scary Accurate

    Photo: Roadside Attractions / Wikimedia Commons / Fair Use

    The movie Love and Mercy was a "factual film," according to Wilson. In being so, though, it scared Wilson, and it reopened traumatic wounds for the singer.

    "I felt exposed," Wilson said in Rolling Stone, but it gets sadder. "Whatever the film shows, it was much worse in real life." 

    In another interview, Wilson said that the casting of the movie was so accurate it scared him – namely, the casting of Paul Giamatti as Dr. Eugene Landy.

  • Despite It All, Wilson Still Looks Back On His Time With Landy With Fondness

    Photo: wonker / Wikimedia Commons / CC By 2.0

    Wilson absolutely recognizes the terrible things Landy put him through. However, he still remembers some positive things. In an interview with the New York Post, Wilson said: 

    "I still feel that there was benefit. I try to overlook the bad stuff, and be thankful for what he taught me."