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Mercer now lives in New York City but says that while he grew up mostly in Virginia, he went to Providence High School here in Charlotte. "I get scripts often from friends -- but this one was way better than most of the ones I get," he says. "The characters were so well drawn."
Daniel Watts says playing Billy, Ethan's fraternity brother and most loyal friend, is a real challenge. The Indian Trail resident describes himself as an extrovert but explains that his character is an introvert. "It's cool that it's based on a true story," he says, adding that it is another challenge to keep true to "as much as we know of the story."
Brothers is Watts' first film and the Elon University grad is planning to move to Florida in October to do musical theater.
When Tom talks about Jennifer, it's obvious he misses her. She was the youngest of four children; Tom was next to the oldest. "Of the four of us, we were the most alike," he says and smiles. "I think she'd be proud. It's one of those things where you hope that something good comes from something so tragic. And I don't mean something good like you make a lot of money."
He turns serious again. "I mean something good like it kind of keeps her story alive or there's other people who can relate to the story. Or maybe it just leads somebody to say, jeez, you know, I know something about...whether it be her murder or somebody else's murder...and that person comes forward. She was very ambitious; she would have been hugely successful. So you kind of hope that in her spirit...I would have never tried to write anything, had I not had this happen."
Lindsey Grossman contributed to this story.