‘You can open any page and something can spark in you to do whatever you want to do,’ Ben Nemtin tells MTV News of ‘What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?’
By Uptin Saiidi
They’ve gone bull-riding, streaked across soccer stadiums and played ball with President Obama. Now the guys from MTV’s “The Buried Life” say it’s time to cross off the next item on their list: Write a New York Times best-seller. With their first book, “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” hitting book shelves on Tuesday (March 27), they’re hoping to make good on that goal.
Since wrapping the second season of their docu series, the guys — Ben Nemtin, Jonnie Penn, Duncan Penn and Dave Lingwood — have traveled the country speaking on college campuses squeezing in time to assemble their book. When the crew stopped by MTV News recently, they told us they’ve basically been working on “Before You Die” for five years.
“When we started [shooting] ‘Buried Life,’ we wish we had something like [this] book,” Penn recalled of their pre-MTV days.
“We were all in college when this thing started and we wish there was somewhere to go to talk about doing crazy things that you want to do in your life. Now this [book], if you go to your friend’s house and this is sitting on the coffee table, you know you’re like-minded.”
Over the past few years, thousands of fans submitted buried lists of the things they wanted to do before they died on “The Buried Life” Facebook page. From there, the guys picked their favorite 150 to include in the book. The pages are also filled with illustrations, quotes, lessons and never-been-told stories like how it felt to play basketball with the president.
As the group prepares to tackle the next item on their list, Nemtin said he hopes the book will inspire others to believe they can accomplish their own goals and dreams.
“We didn’t start this to make a TV show,” Nemtin said. “We started this because we felt like we needed to do something and we all got inspired by different things that made us believe we could do anything we wanted. We want this book to give that feeling to anyone who reads it. You can open any page and something can spark in you to do whatever you want to do.”