B.A. English '92
A Hard Sell
Jamie Reidy’s success as an author and screenwriter can be attributed - at least in part - to getting “pounded every day” as a freshman walk-on for the Notre Dame wrestling team.
“Considering that I was not a particularly talented wrestler, this was not the best decision for my health. Teammates even invented moves to keep their interest up while I flailed away,” the 1992 English major jokes.
“But I didn’t quit. I was determined to earn a varsity monogram by the time I graduated.”
That same perseverance helped Reidy push through rejections from more than 25 literary agents and realize his dream of becoming a writer.
“I drew on my wrestling lessons. I didn’t quit. I began writing more, and I improved dramatically.”
In 2005, “Hard Sell: Evolution of a Viagra Salesman,” was published by Andrews McMeel. Based on Reidy’s job with Pfizer as the number one pharmaceutical sales rep in the country peddling “the little blue pill,” (while slacking off and working only 15 hours a week), the book is now the basis for the movie “Love and Other Drugs,” opening nationwide on November 24. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Reidy — a roguish pharmaceutical salesman doing as little work as possible, and Anne Hathaway as his love interest.
“It’s surreal on so many levels – watching Jake as me, respond to being called Jamie, behaving as I did, having the same conversations I did in 1997,” Reidy says.
The film, though, fictionalizes sexual exploits and manipulations that the book doesn’t cover.
“The book is a jumping off point for the movie, which captures the book’s lighthearted, self-deprecating spirit,” Reidy says. “But the slacker stuff is gone, and Jake’s character has more depth than I have. He starts out where I was – selfish – and begins to change after he meets someone he really cares about.”
Earlier this year, Reidy self-published “Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing,” a how-to book of recipes and cleaning tips for bachelors hoping to impress women with domestic skills.
With two books and a movie to his credit, Reidy considers his days at Notre Dame to be some of his best, and tributes his alma mater for not only teaching and honing his skills as a writer, but also with providing him the moxie to move forward.
“At Notre Dame, I learned the value of chasing a dream,” he says.
And he also has a monogram jacket hanging in his closet.