In the unique new documentary series Two Brothers Two, director Rick Stevenson takes us on a journey through the lives of the Nelson brothers, Sam, Luke, Tommy, and Joseph, as they struggle to find love for each other and for themselves.
In this episode, we get a glimpse into the brothers’ high school years, which provide them with unexpected opportunities to strengthen their bond. We also learn that Sam suffered from depression in his adolescence, probably contributing to the tension between him and Luke, who was completely unaware of Sam’s struggle. 17-year-old Sam has gained control of his depression and proudly reveals that he and 15-year-old Luke have not fought for an entire year.
“I would say without a doubt he is my best friend,” Luke says with a smile.
What is up next for the brothers? Find out with us in Episode 3.
Two Brothers Two is the continuing story of Sam and Luke and their two younger brothers, Tommy and Joseph, 5,000 days in the making. Watch Sam, Luke, Tommy, and Joseph negotiate the journey of adolescence on the road to young adulthood. While they don't have it all, they do have each other. And this is their story.
When we first met Sam and Luke in Two Brothers, they didn't exactly get along.
He solves things by hurting me.
I'm not sad about anything. Turn the camera off.
I just want to see how our relationship would have changed in 10 years.
So Sam, what are your chances going into the election? Explain the process.
Not great. I ran against a kid named Daniel Lynn, who's really funny, really great, magnetic personality. He was president of a lot of clubs. They had the primaries, and I was still down below that kid.
Just like his presidential campaign, he had every--he was troubleshooting what people were going to say.
We were driving home from school that day, and we drive by the Old Country Buffet, and we see this guy dancing in a bee costume, just dancing in front of the Old Country Buffet. And I'm like, "Oh, great! I'm going to go in there and see if I can borrow that for you to dance in front of the school for my election." He's like, "Sam, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard."
And in his presidential campaign, we hit it off.
What did Luke do?
And he went and danced to "Dancing Queen" and "This Is Why I'm Hot" and some other songs, and a whole bunch of people gathered around.
Luke really helped. He was key. I won 60-40.
Sam's told me what he went through his entire adolescence up to the middle of last year.
I think it started in seventh grade, and it got--it seemed like it got progressively worse.
Did you know that he felt depressed almost every day?
No, I didn't. Never would have guessed.
You know, I started getting really, really sad.
I know he wasn't the happiest kid in the world, but I didn't think that it was that bad at all.
I think I just felt kind of lonely, and I went to a psychologist one or two times. I talked to him about it, and he said it sounded like a chemical thing. I went on a reading binge. I read all kinds of books. I read Napoleon Hill's books. And I listened to this Tony Robbins series, which I'm kind of embarrassed about, but it actually, really did make a difference. But I took medication sophomore year for my ADD, and it helped a little bit.
But in the end, you said you didn't like the way it made you feel.
Well, no, I didn't like the way it made me feel. And I felt like I wanted to own it, and I felt like it was the medicine, was the reason that I was doing well. It came to a point, if I stayed where I was, where I'd be in 5 years and where I'd be in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, and it was scary.
He tried to put on a false image that he was just fine.
And the coolest part about it is, it took five minutes to make that decision. I could have years--it was years of being depressed. It took five minutes of a real decision.
Did you know that was going on?
I feel like, my depression, I feel like that was probably at the point in my life when I changed. That was my greatest weakness, if anything. And to, in one day, change that to my greatest strength and keep that my greatest strength for two years now, it gives me a lot of confidence. And if I can change my greatest weakness in one day, what else can I do? And I think since then, it's been since then that me and Luke haven't fought for, like, over a year.
I just started talking to my brother. People are nicer than you think they are.
So you think the turnaround with Luke has to do with the turnaround with you?
I don't know. I'd kind of realized that I've got this cool older brother, and I think I realized my little brother's all right.
Do you talk to him about everything, basically?
Yeah. Girls, everything. It's like some people have a journal, and I have an older brother.
But it wasn't always that way?
I kind of look up to him. He's my role model, because in certain situations I'd be like, "What would Sam say right now?" I'd say without a doubt, yeah, he's probably my best friend.
Me and Luke are best friends.
The walk-on day is next week. And it's your last chance to fulfill your dream to play BYU football.
How do you feel?
Kind of surreal that it's finally here, or that it's coming up. I've been thinking about it for so long.
So I read it, and it's like, "Dear Elder Nelson, you are hereby called to labor in the Chile Concepcion Mission." I'm going to Chile. So we go, "Alo." Alo.
This street camera captures one of the largest earthquakes in a century to hit Chile.
And then it came out that the epicenter was right near Concepcion, which is right where Sam was. Then all of a sudden, my heart sank.