Logan Lerman has come of age in the entertainment industry with an impressive body of work and is fast becoming one of Hollywood’s most in-demand young actors, for both independent and mainstream film. Most recently, Lerman starred in the critically acclaimed, indie coming-of-age drama, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” alongside Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, and Ezra Miller. Lerman recently wrapped production on Darren Aronofsky’s highly anticipated Biblical epic “Noah” opposite Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Douglas Booth and Emma Watson. He is currently in pre-production on the highly anticipated WWII drama, “Fury” written and to be directed by David Ayer.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters stays even closer to the novels as we join Percy Jackson and his friends on an epic quest to save their mythical world. The Blu-ray edition is the only place you can see an exclusive, never-before-seen animated short introducing Percy’s newest rival, Clarisse, and the only way to experience the thrill of theatrical 3D at home.
In the below interview, Logan talks about reprising the role of Percy, being recognized by teenage girls and remaining sane in Hollywood.
Had you read the books before taking on this character?
No, I hadn’t. I didn’t even know about them really. My younger cousins did though and they were really excited about it. I checked them out and they were pretty good.
How did this sequel come together? What was your preparation?
I got a call one day when I was working on a film that it was going and I got the script and I read it and I just worked off the material. I flew in and we went straight into shooting and there was not a lot of time to talk about it or think about it or anything. And so I dove in and just tried to work with the material given to me.
Do you get to see the pre-visualization as well?
I see that. I checked out the storyboards and stuff like that. I look at it so I know what we’re doing every day, but it specifically helps the most with scenes with visual effects and big sequences with monsters and stuff like that, so I know exactly what they want and those are very specific sequences because they’re not loose.
So when you shoot scenes like that, that’s not the time to improvise and say, ‘Hey guys, I have a better idea’?
There weren’t a lot of moments to improvise on this film. Especially the way I think, you know I have a little bit of a dark sense of humor so you can’t really improvise with a dark sense of humor on a family film!
There is a featurette on the DVD about Deconstructing Demi-Gods, what does it take to play a Demi-God? How were the stunts on this film, compared to the first one?
Well comparatively on the first movie, I knew nothing about stunt work and now I know a good amount about stunt work because I did Percy #1 and I did another action film and I was better with a sword and things like that and fighting, so going into this I felt more comfortable, but there’s just more work in the harder action sequences.
The Percy Jackson films and books have an inherent love of travel, adventure and exploration in them. Is that something that you enjoy? You get to travel when shooting and then also to promote the film?
Yeah, yeah the travelling aspect? I love it. I feel pretty spoiled about the amount of travel I get to do. It’s really eye opening for a young person.
Do you have a favorite place?
Not one, but favorites yes. I haven’t been everywhere, but some of the trips I’ve been on have been fantastic. Like Japan was really amazing and eye opening. Germany was amazing. Those were two places that were really cool. I was in Italy promoting the film and that was amazing. Korea was incredible. I get to go to cool places, usually someone my age, like my friends, they haven’t been able to travel because it’s financially hard to justify travelling when it’s a tough world to get a job in right now, so it’s weird to have a career where I can…
How do you respond to people saying you’re the next big thing in Hollywood?
I’ve heard that from you and maybe another few people, but I don’t really feel that way. I find it just very hard to get roles in good films. It’s all hype until it’s real.
So you’re kind of in the same state as Percy? He doesn’t know if he’s the big thing or not!
Yes, very comparable to that. I really don’t know. It all could change like that, so I’m always on my toes trying to do the best work that I can.
Can you talk a little bit about Noah and working with Russell Crowe?
Yeah, he’s a really cool guy and Noah’s a very exciting movie. I’m a big fan of Aronofsky’s. He’s a filmmaker I love so that was a really exciting project for me to be a part of.
What surprised you about Russell?
You know, I knew Russell before the film. We did a film together a few years ago so it was kind of like seeing him again was cool and he had a sense of pride because he was like, I knew you when you were a little kid.
What surprised me about him? Well, it wasn’t too much of a surprise because I already knew him, but he’s a generous guy and very generous to me and very nice to me and insightful and gave me a lot of insights into what he thinks is good for me. When I was a kid he really taught me a lot about respect on a set, you know respect for others, and how to treat others with respect – not that I was disrespectful he just pointed out like a good guy would – he’s nice.
Did you find a change after Perks of Being Wallpaper?
Not really. It wasn’t that big of a film. It was a limited release. I mean it did well for its release, for the number of theatres it was put in. But on a professional level, without it, I wouldn’t have done Noah – it kind of helped me get Noah and it helped me get other roles and it opened up other doors to other filmmakers and producers. Perks really opened up the door creatively so that it was an opportunity to have a complex role in a film. Roles like that are few and far between for someone my age at the time.
Are most of your friends actors?
No, none of them.
But you’re from LA?
I’m from LA yes.
You were born into this movie industry?
Pretty much. I’m a product of LA. That’s all that we have here. It’s only Hollywood that it all dates back to. You know, we have the Hollywood Walk of Fame – that’s pretty much the oldest thing we have.
So is that an aim of yours? To be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
No, no. I don’t care about that. It’d be interesting, but I don’t really care about the Walk of Fame.
Do you like being famous, or is it a bit scary?
It’s a little bit of hype. It’s hype. I wouldn’t want to be famous without the work. There’s a lot of people who are famous without the work. Without real work. Without good work.
But is it scary that world of being recognized by paparazzi?
I don’t have that. The idea of that is scary I guess. But it comes with the territory.
Have you had many odd or funny experiences?
Not too weird. I’ve gotten some weird things in the mail and stuff like that. Like when I’m working. I remember, I’d go home after work to my hotel and someone drew a picture of me with my face and their number on it and it’s underneath my door. Hopefully they don’t kill me in the middle of the night.
That’s about it. Nothing too weird.
You seem very sane despite being successful. How have you avoided going down the wrong road? Has that been an issue for you? We see these tragic stories all the time in Hollywood.
I hope it’s not an issue. I think my mental health is alright. Hopefully it stays that way, you never know, it could go south. I don’t know. I’m very close with my parents. Does that make it different? I don’t know. You never know. I hope I don’t make any bad mistakes.
I’m only focused on my work though. I’m not coming in with the intention to be famous or party. So that won’t affect my behavior I guess. I like movies.
Do you still live with your parents?
No, I don’t live with my parents anymore. I did, up until recently. I’m out of town so often, that I don’t really live anywhere.
How are you with cooking and laundry and all that stuff?
I’m good. I mean, I’m not a good cook, but I’m good with microwaves, but laundry I’m great. I do my own laundry very well. I’m very controlling. That’s one thing that people know about me. You know when I get into a car I like to drive. I don’t like other people driving. When I do my own laundry I like to do it.
Are you interested in writing or directing your own movies? Any particular genre?
It’s not genre specific. I do really appreciate directors. That’s always the world I’ve wanted to be in when I’m ready. But it’s not genre specific. And I don’t know about writing. I’m a little insecure about that.
What do you like to do away from work?
I play music. I enjoy playing the piano. That’s pretty therapeutic for me.
Do you want a rock career?
I can’t imagine. It’s a weird business – music – when I look at it now. It’s hard to really.
Have you played live gigs in bars?
I’ve played in bars. I’ve done that before. I’ve played in my friends’ music sometimes. I’ve played on their tracks. I enjoy writing, but the songs that I write sometimes are pretty personal and I’m kind of nervous to share.
Have you sung them?
For people? No. Not really. I’ll play them, but I’m not going to sing them. I’ll do that for myself.
You’ve got a huge following on Twitter?
Yeah, that’s weird. I don’t really even tweet that often. I was looking at that today. I was like, wow, there’s a lot of people on there! It’s interesting. It’s very flattering. I mean, I’m not that interesting. There’s not a lot that I post, but that’s nice that people are following and I appreciate the followers, you know, those fans. That’s a big part of the movie industry now days. It’s part of being an actor. It helps you get movies made to be honest.
Who are your role models in Hollywood?
I just like people who consistently work with good directors and make good choices. Those are the people that have the option to, not everybody does. A lot of people have got to pay the bills so they just have to work, but you know the people who are in a position to have all of the choices in the world and they’re making bad choices, I don’t really like that. I like the actors that are choosing to work with good directors consistently and take challenging roles.