A graphic with a photo of Booker T directing on set of Twisted Marriage Therapist.
"Twisted Marriage Therapist" is set to premiere on the free streaming service Tubi on Sept. 7. (Photos: Courtesy of Booker T. Mattison)

Booker T. Mattison writes and directs “Twisted Marriage Therapist”

“It is a psychological thriller, and it is indeed shocking,” Booker T. Mattison, an associate professor in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies at Grady College, said about his newest film, “Twisted Marriage Therapist.” 

A photo of Marija Abney as Dr. Yo. that reads "Nurturing Relationships for Lasting Connection. Grow with Dr. Yo."
In “Twisted Marriage Therapist,” Dr. Yo is played by Marija Abney.

Set to premiere on the free streaming service Tubi on Sept. 7, “Twisted Marriage Therapist” tells the story of a celebrity marriage counselor who gets the husband of a couple she’s counseling committed so she can steal his wife.

“I like thrillers, but the psychological thriller I particularly like because it allows the protagonist to manipulate and to use her mind to impact the minds of other characters in the film,” said Mattison. “And if you control someone’s mind, ultimately you can control their body. So it was a lot of fun both writing the film and directing it.”

Shot in late spring of 2023, from May 14 through June 2, and starring Marija Abney as Dr. Yo, Pha’rez Lass as the husband and Jennifer Sears as the wife, “Twisted Marriage Therapist” is markedly different compared to previous films Mattison has made. 

Mattison has a background in dramas. Last year, he stepped slightly outside of his comfort zone while writing and directing “The Sound of Christmas,” a holiday movie about a widower who falls in love with a music teacher who brings love and music back to the family during the holidays. It debuted on BET+ Thanksgiving of 2022. 

Notably, “Twisted Marriage Therapist” is a sharp turn from a family holiday movie. But Mattison always welcomes a challenge. 

“I was hired to do a psychological thriller, and I did it,” said Mattison. “It allows me to showcase my diversity as a storyteller, as both a writer and a director.” 

“People often ask me, ‘What type of films do you like?’ or ‘What type of stories do you tell?’ My answer is always ‘good ones,’ Mattison added. “I’m not a person who favors one particular genre.”

This approach, of being a diverse storyteller, also influences how Mattison teaches his students at Grady College.  

“My initial objective is to create an environment where students can discover their voice,” said Mattison. “My second objective is to train students to refine that voice and then use it to tell stories that matter to them, independent of genre or subject matter.”

Those interested in taking a look behind the scenes of the production of “Twisted Marriage Therapist” can visit Mattison’s Instagram page.

Date: September 5, 2023
Author:  Jackson Schroeder,  Jackson.Schroeder@uga.edu