Notes From Sundance: Lou Taylor Pucci On Playing A Brain-Damaged Character

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25-year-old actor Lou Taylor Pucci took on a challenge by playing the lead in a film called The Music Never Stopped. The movie, which co-stars the awesome J.K. Simmons, dramatizes the true story of a hippie kid who lost part of his memory and brain function after suffering a massive brain tumor. Through the help of a music therapist and songs by The Grateful Dead, he starts to make progress toward forging new memories.

Lou plays the lead character, Gabriel (based on a real man named Gary), who we see both after he's suffered the brain damage and also in flashbacks as a rebellious high school kid. In a Q&A after the screening, Lou talked about the methods he took toward being able to effectively play the challenging role:

I didn't get to meet the real Gary, so that was pretty tough. But I did get to meet a lot of people who worked with the real Gary and they gave me some really goo pointers. I even got to talk to Oliver Sacks. What did it look like when he was having an emotion? What did it look like when he was remembering something? So I did get to ask some real questions from the people who knew him and it was very important to the role.

Check out a still from the movie: