As a child, Nick was close to both his younger brother Alex and older brother James. But as a teenager, he began to drift apart from Alex. “I didn’t want him around my friends because he was different,” he explains. “At that age, you’re in such a bubble - you’re so focused on yourself, friends, exams, sport. When I went to drama school, I saw how ridiculous I’d been. There’s no reason to feel shame about it - he’s my brother.”
Acting for Alex
Today, Nick works as an actor, a support worker for people with disabilities and a producer for Luke and Ed’s filmmaking company Boxclever Media. “Acting has always been my passion. A few years ago, I was doing these acting classes and the teacher told us that every time we came on stage we should fight for someone: it was always for Alex.”
Several years later, Nick began to reflect on his time at drama school. “I considered doing a book about the relationship I have with my brother but when I talked to my mum, she suggested doing a documentary with the boys.” Nick has known Luke and Ed from the age of 10.
Before they began filming any interviews, Ed and Luke lived with Nick and Alex in their apartment for six months so that they could gain an understanding of what everyday life was like with Alex. It also meant that Alex could get used to the cameras before they began their travels. “They’d see us from waking up to going to bed, warts and all. We were always conscious about making the film truthful. I love my brother but there are difficult times,” he says. Nick took over from his parents as Alex’s primary caregiver throughout filming. The film begins with shots of Nick helping Alex to have a bath and making dinner in their flat.
Growing the idea
The team found other siblings to interview as a result of video that featured on the BBC website in July 2018. It resulted in hundreds of emails of support for their project. “Originally, we wanted to film only in the UK. But to make a big impact, you have to have big ambitions.“