These blogs are created to give a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration behind the upcoming movie The Favorite. This film, hitting theaters in September, is based on incredible true events behind The Favorite Movie.
Luke Bernard’s life threatening accident gave him this vision that led him to write the screenplay for The Favorite just months after he was learning how to write all over again due to his traumatic brain injury.
Even though I can’t remember the accident, being at LA County hospital, or my rehabilitation at Ranchos Los Amigos, I remember what I was thinking during that time. I thought I was being tricked and this was a cruel game everyone was in on—even my parents. I thought I was experiencing something like the movie The Game –and I was Michael Douglas.
My parents remind me of the real events through stories they tell about that time.
Whenever I left my room I had to put on my, as my parents called it, “armor.”
In order to go to rehab, I had to wear my body brace, neck brace, and a helmet. My parents actually went out and bought me a helmet and put foam padding in it because the hospital helmet kept falling in my face.
I wanted to burn that helmet and didn’t know why I had to wear it, or my “armor.” To me, I was 100% and everyone else had to be playing a trick on me.
I didn’t want to go to rehab. It was miserable. People asked me questions constantly and, no matter how I answered, they acted like I didn’t know anything!
There were days I fought so much not wanting to wear my armor that I didn’t go to rehab.
Obviously, my parents were upset by this. Since then, they have filled me in with the real details because all I remember is my own thoughts of everyone trying to trick me. I’m fascinated how the brain is so complex and how I remember my thoughts and dreams during my recovery at the hospital, but I can’t remember the six months before.
My dad tells me about a few times where he saw me realize that I wasn’t 100%.
Once, I caught my reflection in a mirror wearing my armor and I, apparently, stared into the mirror, thinking.
I finally asked him while looking at myself, “Dad, am I retarded?”
He explained to me I wasn’t retarded, but in a car accident and have to go through rehab. Wow. That must have been a really difficult moment for my dad.
It’s hard not to get emotional when I realize the gravity of what other people dealt with during that time. The therapists were asking me all those questions to test my cognitive ability and it wasn’t until I saw myself in that hospital equipment that I even realized something was wrong with me—and, the only reasoning I could come up with was that I must have been mentally broken.
I am so grateful to God for healing me and bringing me back to reality so I could fully experience this beautiful world He has created.
I will never not appreciate it.
The Favorite, a family film based on true events, is set to open in theaters nationwide September 2019
March 9, 2013 Luke Bernard was in a near fatal car accident. He entered L.A. County Hospital with barely a pulse. He had a GCS of 3 with dilated and fixed pupils, and had a zero chance of survival. The neurosurgeon performed emergency surgery. A 4 x 5 inch piece of his skull was needed to be removed allowing the damaged brain to swell. Doctors removed two blood clots on his brain. He had two broken vertebrae in his neck and back, as well as facial and rib fractures. Thousands were mobilized to pray for complete recovery. Luke had a miraculous recovery, returning home to Florida after six weeks in the hospital.
DREAM BECOMES MOVIE
Two months after returning home, Luke had a cranioplasty to replace his skull. Those with brain trauma typically have insomnia. Luke was no exception. However, one evening he had a deep sleep and God gave him a dream. The next morning, he was excited that he had slept and told his parents about the dream. His parents encouraged him to write the dream down, believing it would be good for his rehab. One month and 90 pages later, Luke had written the first draft of The Favorite. Six months prior to this, Luke was relearning to write his name.
ABOUT THE FIM
The Favorite is about two brothers. One brother, Luke, is a star college soccer player verging on a pro career. The other brother, Benjamin perceives his brother is the favorite. Soccer is his father’s favorite sport. Ben pursues MMA fighting in hopes to win his father’s favor.