When The Good Wife's Matt Czuchry was 5 years old he shared a bedroom with his older brother, Mike, then 14. Each night in their New Hampshire home, the brothers made up stories for each other before going to sleep. "We would say, ‘What do you want to hear?' " Matt remembers of the stories, which were inspired by both Dr. Seuss and Edgar Allan Poe. "We'd ask, ‘The one about the motorcycle gang, or the gun, or … ?' And then we would dive into our imaginations."
Thirty years later, the brothers' tradition of storytelling has found its way into the book Brothers On Life™, a collection of short stories, poetry and philosophy illustrated with personal photographs. "In some ways we've been working on this for a lifetime," says the 34-year-old actor. "We're revisiting those stories but, at the same time, hope that these reflections are universal things that everyone can pick up and apply to their own lives."
The brothers, who still finish each other's sentences, spent 10 months working on the book. "We couldn't have written it 10 years ago," says Matt, "because we didn't have enough life experiences." The Czuchrys wrote during their downtime from their respective jobs—Matt, who plays slick deputy state's attorney Cary Agos on The Good Wife, is based in New York; Mike is an assistant professor of psychology in Seguin, Texas. The two conferred by email, and coordinated a trip back to their family home to pore through old photo albums. "Matt tells stories as an actor and I tell stories in the classroom," the older brother says. "It really helped the process."
They decided to publish the book themselves rather than going the traditional route because, "this way we have full creative control," says Matt. "And if we don't get it right you can put it all on us," he adds with a laugh. "But we're willing to do this because we both feel like we have something to say that can connect to people.
"The kind of bond Mike and I have, the friendship we have, the stuff we've been through together and individually … this feels like the right time to share that. This is from the soul," he says. "And I think readers will feel that." — Evelyn Reed