Logan Lerman interview: ‘Percy Jackson 2 is more of a comedy’
Rising Hollywood talent Logan Lerman won widespread acclaim for his performance in Perks Of Being A Wallflower alongside Emma Watson, and is the title star of the Percy Jackson movies.
He spoke to Joe Utichi about new fantasy adventure Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, why he’s leaning towards “edgier material” – and his directorial ambitions.
He may be only 21 years old, but Hollywood hotshot Logan Lerman has already amassed an impressive cinematic CV.
He starred alongside Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma, won critical plaudits for his stunning lead turn in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, and became known around the world for taking the title role in 2010′s epic fantasy adventure Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief.
Based on the hit children’s book by Rick Riordan, the blockbuster cast Lerman as a high school teen who discovers that his father is Greek god of the sea Poseidon. Indoctrinated into a world of gods, demi-gods and lords of the underworld, Percy’s quest turned Lerman into a star.
Now he’s back as Percy Jackson in action-packed sequel Sea Of Monsters, alongside returning cast members Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson, with a story that sees him setting out on a quest to retrieve the mythical Golden Fleece.
Lerman says he was excited to return for this new outing, but claims that new director Thor Freudenthal has established a very different tone this time around.
“The movies are completely different. I really enjoyed Thor’s vision and he makes fun films.“It’s definitely lighter than the first one. I’d say that it’s more comedic. We had a blast working together. It was great because it was pretty spontaneous – and we were having fun coming up with the ideas of what we could do.“The first film ended on an heroic note for Percy, but in the beginning of this new film, he’s not the hero anymore. He’s not the big guy on campus – that’s actually Clarisse, played by Leven Rambin. She’s taken the number one role in the camp and she’s a bit of a bully.“Percy’s a bit down on himself, and accepting an average demigod life. He finds out on top of all this that he has a half-brother who is a cyclops, and he’s reluctant to let him into his life.”
The young actor professes to be a big fan of shooting stunts and green screen mayhem.
“I love it. I have an imagination so I can get into something – even though it’s a tracking marker.“I have a lot of freedom to give them options and my options dictate what they can do in post-production. So it’s a lot of fun. It’s just like making a movie with your friends on the go or something like that.”
Lerman acknowledges the huge difference in approach between a big-budget action movie like Percy Jackson and a more intimate drama like Perks Of Being A Wallflower – and explains that he’s keen to continue working at both ends of the filmic spectrum.
“The main challenge for this film was the physical work, whereas in Perks there’s nothing physical in there. It’s all in the mapping out intentions and the storylines, which is a lot more detailed work in a movie like that.“But I like it all and I think it’s all fun. It’s nice to have a combination of the two. I like a lot of different genres of cinema.“I find I’m attracted to darker material right now. I like edgier things right now. It’s hard to find that for someone my age, so I’m always trying to find something different. I really want to stay away from doing the same thing.”
It’s clear that Lerman is not short of ambition. Indeed, he already has his sights set on becoming a director at some point.
“It’d be nice to go behind the camera,” he reveals. “This whole acting thing’s treated me very well, and I really like it, and if I could transition into filmmaking that’d be great.“I’d love to be in a position where I can have the resources to do it correctly, and I think you need a certain amount of pull for that. So hopefully if I go on making some right decisions in acting, I’ll be able to transition into filmmaking as well.“I’m always looking for the next challenge. In acting terms, I definitely want to challenge myself with characters that are difficult, that I read and I think, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with this.’“That stress is kind of fuel for the fire. But mainly I really look at the filmmaker. ‘Can I trust you? Are you going to make a film that I like?’ Because it’s their movie and I’m catering to their vision. What they ask for, I’m going to try to give them.”