Student newspaper's extensive interview with logan lerman
Lake Superior State University's Student-Run Newspaper, The Compass, Interviews Logan Lerman
LL: Hey, just wanted to say that this is crazy doing a conference call, just wanted to throw that out there but I’m excited to get to talk to you so let’s get started
Q: Charlie was such an emotional and deep character, what did you do to prepare to play such an inspirational part?
LL: umm.. Yeah there was a lot of prep, so many things that I did to prep for it. The key, the number one thing for me was just isolating myself for a little while, just with the material and figuring it out. And then from there it was just mapping the character and figuring him out. Ummm… his intentions behind some of the lines, because you know it was pretty tricky to figure out his intentions. Just getting in the mind of such a sweet and genuine young guy, that was tough. Watching movies is always a big inspiration, actually the one I connected to the most, and I’ve talked to a lot of journalist who have compared it to a john Hughes movie, but for me, while in terms of relating it to this film, was ordinary people, the Redford film. And I uhh and I saw ordinary people a lot and responded to timothy huthen’s character and his arc and I felt a lot of simularites. Between his character and timothy’s character.
Q: the book manages to be very touching without being sentimental. Do you think the movie achieved that?
LL: yes, I do. I feel like it’s a very faithful adaptation of the book especially since Stephen C. wrote the novel, wrote the screenplay, directed the film, so yeah I think it definitely captured that.
Q: This is a very “Cult” book, were you or anybody else in the cast worried that it wouldn’t live up to the expectations fans had?
LL: Yeah, totally. I mean, hmm, you know I mean actors in general are very insecure people. Always judging our work and if it will be good enough which is only fuel. It’s only fuel for the fire. You know there were a lot of times when we were sitting around and discussing scenes for the movie, we just didn’t know what it was going to be. We where just like “you know, we’re working our asses off, and regardless we’ll always remember this time as being one of the great movie experiences that we’ve all had.”
Q: I was wondering if you had read the book and if you feel that any scenes in the book were missing in the movie.
LL: Yes, I did read the book and no, I don’t. I feel that it was structured very well. That chabosky really, I mean he really knew what the movie needed in particular to give it a good arc and every thing like that. I mean of course more ground could be covered in any movie but it wouldn’t be a movie, it wouldn’t be a film, umm it’d be really freaking long, like watching Ben Hurr. Yeah, you know, yeah, I was pretty happy with it.
Q: What is your favorite line and do you have a favorite scene from the story that you did?
LL: Umm, my favorite line? The one that stuck with me, I mean really stuck with me the most, I mean the one they’ve been using a lot for advertising as well, you know, it’s like a cheap go ahead like “ehh, use this one” but it would have to be, “we accept the love we think we deserve.” Yeah, it just, that was one my favorite lines in the whole script, and yeah, it just really stays with you.
Yeah, I loved the whole Charlie getting stoned for the first time sequence, that was a lot of fun. Umm.. We all had a good time, a particularly good time doing that, you know it was a lighter scene from the rest of the movie, so it was a nice little break from the depressing scenes that were hard to get into. But yeah, yeah, yeah, I liked that scene it was a lot of fun to make.
Q: Have you watched Rocky Horror Picture Show before playing this role?
LL: No, I hadn’t. What was really cool is that Steve, he took all… well first off we shot the movie in the same area, the same town, that Steve grew up in, and where the book takes place. And we actually went to his childhood theater where he grew up watching RHPS and everything. And yeah, so like the whole cast and a bunch of the crew, we all went to see the show and I like really, you know I went with no expectations, I went knowing nothing about it and I was fucking scared after seeing that. I was like “Fuck, I have to wear the gold thong and everything.” Yeah, it was really nerve racking after seeing it, yeah, it was nuts. But, they were very, the production crew was very nice, well I don’t know if they were nice or they just couldn’t keep a lot of the footage from the RHPS sequence with out making it an R rating because I’m sure there was a lot of, I’m not sure what a word for it would be, maybe you know… I don’t know but it would have been bad, it would have been bad to have it all in there. It was crazy, that was uncomfortable.
Q: When Charlie blacked out and fought the bully to protect Patrick, there’s a lot of message being subtaly given there about the loyalty of being a friend as well as the over all issue of bulling that is a hot topic right now. Was there a conversation you had with your self or with Steven cho? With the rest of the cast that your motivation was more in the direction of defending your friend or fighting for justice in a broader way?
LL: Completely with defending my friend, yeah yeah, the intention there was just to save my buddy and instinct just kind of came into play. Yeah, that was my complete intention when doing it.
Q: Was there any sort of, like not an insidious motivation exactly, but a decision before you went to stand up for him like I really need to have my friends back or was it just that you couldn’t stand to see someone in pain, like that’s a really big issue for the character is watching suffering.
LL: Yes, that was it as well, yeah that, yeah yeah, I would basically be reiterating exactly what you just said. That was his intention, and yeah, how he can’t stand that feeling. It was interesting, I really liked the way that cho. And everyone decided to visually tell I mean show that moment. I love how one second you think you’re going to see one thing, they’re gonna see the fight or something and then it just cuts to the black out, and they’re on the ground and it was really well done considering it was covered in so many ways. We actually covered it as a fight and I’m glad that they didn’t really show that.
Q: So you did actually shoot a fight scene
LL: yeah, yeah, I mean I wouldn’t really call it a fight fight. And well for me, I really had some problems with that scene so I’m really happy they did it. Because justifying how the hell Charlie, this sweet kid could go anywhere near kicking these jocks assesses it was unexplainable to me, in the film it just wouldn’t be realistic. I felt as an audience member watching it I played into that and I definitely didn’t think about it twice, that they edited that and decided to just have the black out and show it there. It was just really cool.
Q: What had Charlie taught you as a person
LL: What has Charlie taught me as a person…what has he taught me. I’ll rephrase that as what the film speaks to me I guess, umm in Charlie being my character. I mean, for me the major theme, the big message. Well, for me in my life, what I related to would be the overall importance of a friendship and overall confiding in people and I just felt that was really important. And that’s what I learned from his journey was the importance of the journey he made in high school.
Q: Do you see yourself working from behind the camera in the future?
LL: 100% yeah, I’d love to do that. That’s why I really got into acting was to just get my foot in the door for filmmaking. I fell in love with any media that’s involved with film making, acting being one of them, yeah, filmmaking is for sure, that’s the big goal and what I would like to do uhh, sometime soon.
Q: They say that it’s a huge reason for people resenting you, but what did you think of kissing Ezra Miller?
LL: Oh it was great, ha, I’m kidding. What’s the reaction to that? I mean I don’t know, we were buddies pretty early on. So that scene wasn’t as uncomfortable as we, as I imagined it on paper. Ummm the moment it just felt right for what the theme was. Um, ezra was good guy, it isn’t anything uncomfortable, noting like that, I didn’t have a problem with it.
Q: What was it like working with such a great cast? Everyone is so blow away with how everything came out.
LL: Yeah, yeah, I was really fortunate to be a part of this film; I was attached to it for like a year and a half before we even got into production. You know it was really nice to have like a close relationship with, uh, with Steve and that process, and giving, you know, just sitting down weekly to talk about casting and who would be you know part of the young cast. And all of they guys, all of the people who were part of the project, are people that I’ve always wanted to work with. Some were friends of mine before the film and some were just people that I really admired as actors and they’re incredible actors and equally just as great people. We had a great time making it. It was wonder collaboration though, you know Mae witman, ? Simmons, Emma, all the cast was, you know. And some of the guys it was their first film and they were incredible to, and Erin? we had a really great time.
Q: Why do you think that the movie and the characters in the movie are so relatable to the people around that age?
LL: oh, uhh, why do I think… I mean I hope they’re relatable, I mean they were definitely relatable to me, but I can’t speak for everybody who’s read the book or seen the film. I feel like, at least from my perspective, I’ve known all these people, I’ve known all these characters throughout my life that are very similar to Patrick and Sam and everyone involved. I just hope that uhh, other people do as well.
But why are they relatable? I mean, just common issues and themes that go on in the film, Themes in particular rather than the characters are relatable just because they’re things that everybody is going through in their life. And it’s just that age discovering who you are and just being comfortable with yourself and who you are, you know, yeah… those are relatable.
Q: What advice would you offer to young people going through the confusion and loneliness that your character goes though in the movie?
LL: Umm, I would, I would, uhh, walking up to a group, I wouldn’t say a stranger, maybe someone at your school and getting to know them. And becoming friends with somebody and talking to them and confiding to them and having someone to talk to and validate whatever feelings you have in you life, and yeah, that’s my advice pretty much.
Q: [How did you feel] In the gold underpants, in the RHPS scene…
LL: Oh god, so uncomfortable and I fell bad saying this because I’m usually 100% for anything but there was a lot, a good hour long conversation before that scene where I was begging the guys, begging the cast, begging Steve to not go with like the tightly whity thong thing I wore but more like briefs or something like that. And everyone was like “No, you’re not fucking doing that. You’re getting in the thong. Or you’ll ruin the whole scene” I was really nervous. But I was glad to do and it was nice to get out there with the other guys it made it more confortable.
Q: What sound or noise do you love?
LL: sound or noise? The sound of piano.
Q: What noise do you hate?
LL: oohhh… what noise do I hate? I hate scratching against a chalkboard
Q: What turns you on?
LL. What turns me on!? What turns me on? Uhhh…really?
Q: It’s a real question
LL: Ha forget about that…what turns me on…Fuck… I can’t think of something that’s appropriate for this interview, I’ll leave it at that…I’ll leave it that.
Q; What turns you off?
LL: Uhh…Bitches… burping.
Q: What is your favorite word?
Q: What is your favorite curse word?
LL: Oh…Fuck. Fuck, I probably say shit just as often.
Q: Assuming God exist what do you want him to say to you at the pearly gates?
LL: Oh… uhh I.. “You did well young man.”
Q: What drew you to the character of Charlie, do you see any aspects of yourself in the character?
LL: Umm… Yeah, you know, uhh, there’s a lot of qualities of myself that are in the character, but
we’re pretty different, I’m a lot more outgoing. He reminded me a lot of close friends of mine and people I’ve known.
Q: What was the hardest part about playing Charlie
LL: Umm… Oh god it’s all difficult. But you know acting out his intentions, understanding someone who is just so sheltered, sweet and naive, and understanding. Getting inside his mind was difficult.
Q: The last few movies that you did, these movies have been shot on such a big scale and perks is very cozy and intimate. What was the working environment like and how was it different from other films that you have done.
LL: Oh well, I mean, compared to like the recent movies I have done it was really refreshing. And you, I liked the strong characters with real human problems with real human conflict. On this scale too, minus the visual effects test and everything like that, everything that goes into making a big budget effects driven film, It was really nice to just work on a character.
Q: Was it intimidating to work with the author himself?
LL: It wasn’t intimidating at all actually. I would be really intimidating to work with a director that I’m a big fan of but working with the author of book, he, we were both going into it, I was nervous about my character an doing it right. And he was nervous about making a film for the first time. So, it was, yeah, we kind of just complimented each other
Q: Of your upcoming projects which are you most excited about
LL: It’s like picking favorite children. The others might find out and give me shit about it. And uhh… yeah, I’m gonna have to say the one I’m making right now I’m really excited about. Maybe because it’s the freshest one. I’m working this movie right now called Noah. Umm, you know I think it’s mainly because of the filmmaker , I’m a huge fan of the guy I’m working with so I’m excited to see that movie.
Q: Have you ever regretted being an actor and growing up in the spotlight?
LL: Umm… I never really grew up in the spotlight. I did films but no one really knew who the hell I was and they still don’t. Which is nice, having some annominity Growing up making films was weird though because when your so young and your on movie sets, it’s an odd place to grow up. But I managed that, I went to high school and I went to middle school and all that growing up at the same time I was making films. But it was definitely a challenge doing both at the same time. Because you can’t give 100%, it’s 50% in school and work, it was exhausting and I never felt like I was doing my best in either one of the. It was tough, it was definitely challenging.
Q: looking back at your past movies do you see a progression in your movies like then and now?
LL: Oh yeah, big time. The people you work with and the things you do, it’s all trial and error, you try something new and you see if it works or not. That’s just what it is.
Q: What are you hoping that audiences will take away from the story of Charlie and his friends?
LL: umm… I just hope they. And I say this every time and I hate to be so simple in my answer, the one thing I want them to take away from it is entertainment. Above that you know, if anybody is going to take anything away from this, it’s feeling secure with who you are and not feeling yeah, yeah, insecure with yourself and feeling confortable in your own skin.