Logan Lerman is the star of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, released this week. And Cineworld was fortunate enough to sit down and chat with the teenage heartthrob ahead of the film's release. 'Lermaniacs', get ready!
Book your tickets for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
So, Percy and his friends return for the sequel. What’s the story this time?
Someone has poisoned the tree that acts as a protective barrier to the camp. And him and the gang, Annabeth and Grover, along with his new brother Tyson, go on a journey to the Sea of Monsters to try and find the Golden Fleece and save their camp.
What’s the source of the inter-character drama between the main characters?
Well besides Percy’s self-doubt, he finds out that he has a brother who’s a Cyclops. And it sparks all this tension between him and his friends, especially Annabeth because she hates Cyclops’!
So it’s rather inconvenient then?
Very inconvenient! He doesn’t want to accept him but eventually he comes to know him and he finds out that he’s a kind-hearted one-eyed monster.
Do you think that’s the appeal of the Percy character, that he’s got this illustrious heritage and yet he’s also relatable to a young audience?
Of course. He’s a demi-god but he’s still half-human. He lives in a human world that comes with everyday human concerns and problems. And teenage problems, considering he’s a teenager.
The quest this time, as you mentioned, revolves around the search for the Golden Fleece. Were you, or are you, a fan of classic Greek mythology films like Jason and the Argonauts?
Yeah, I love those films, the old Harryhausen effects.
The brilliantly named Thor Freudenthal takes over from Christopher Columbus. Was he as epic to work with as his name suggests?
Yeah, he’s a very interesting filmmaker. He definitely brings a different tone to this movie. In terms of scale, this movie’s much bigger and there are a lot more effects, bigger creatures, higher stakes and so on. But Thor manages to bring a lot of humour to it and a lot of witty rapport between the characters.
Of course, in the trailer there’s the great gag about the ‘Chariot of Damnation’ which turns out to be a New York taxi cab. In spite of the film’s scope, is it lighthearted on-set? Do you have a lot of fun filming it?
Yeah, it’s very lighthearted, we had a good time. We got pretty close in the first film, all the actors and a lot of the crew. We were all pretty tight and we were all back again for this film a few years later, we hadn’t seen each other in a long time. We just had a good time together.
Not trying to encourage favouritism here but you work with some brilliant actors in this sequel, Stanley Tucci included. Do you have a favourite actor you enjoy working with?
Oh no! It’s hard to pick one. I also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!
Understood. We have a Twitter question here from one of our followers @Cineworld Magazine asking “how challenging was making this movie in comparison with the first one?”
You know it was actually very similar. The challenges were similar between the first and this one. It’s mainly physical, the main challenge is the wire work and the fighting and all the choreography. That’s what makes it difficult in a film like this.
Was there a favourite scene of yours to shoot in this film?
Favourite scenes are tough to pick. The whole journey itself was a lot of fun. The whole journey in making it was pretty memorable. Favourite scenes? I do really like the sequence in the belly of the sea monster, that was a lot of fun to shoot and I think it looks really great.
A lot of practical effects involved in the making of that scene, I imagine?
Lots – and tons of CGI and green screen too!
And once you’ve made the film, the special effects team then take over and conjure these extraordinary monsters on-screen. What’s your reaction when you see the final edit?
Pretty damn cool! Well, when you’re on set early on, you see the previsual animations and the conceptual art. You have an idea of what it’s going to be like but it’s always cool to see it in the context of what you were filming.
You’re a young guy who’s the face of this massive big fantasy franchise. Do you get a lot of attention from fans expecting you to be Percy when you’re out walking down the street?
You know it does happen but it’s flattering more than anything. And most of the time it’s kids. And it’s always nice to see a happy kid. They’re happy because you’re that character in that movie they love.
You won acclaim last year for your performance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Is it important as an actor to balance those smaller projects with the bigger fantasy movies such as this?
Not necessarily. It’s just about challenging yourself and finding new roles that aren’t repetitive, that are different, that mean something to me.
You’re starring alongside Russell Crowe in Noah next year, which we’re very excited about. What was it like working alongside him?
It was great, a lot of fun. He’s a good guy. We go a little ways back, it was like a little reunion…
…Following 3:10 to Yuma of course
Yeah, we knew each other. We hadn’t seen each other in a while but it was a fun little reunion.
We have another Twitter question here from someone calling themselves ‘The Logan Lerman Club’. I imagine you’ve seen a few of these! They ask “what obstacles did you face when you were shooting Sea of Monsters?”
Well, one of the obstacles was exhaustion! We were shooting continuously for weeks at night, just living at night and trying to sleep during the day. That was pretty tough. But on top of that, there were all the physical elements to the film, all the choreography, the wirework and so on.
It’s not just a boys own adventure this, the girls get in on the action as well. Do you think that’s one of the most appealing aspects of the film?
The girls don’t just get in on the action, in many ways they’re the real heroes! They’re the most skilled ones of the group. The girls are the most dominant in the film.
This is the second film in a series of books. Are you looking forward to seeing where Percy’s journey goes from here?
Yeah, if enough people see this one and like it, we’ll be able to do more of them.
Have you seen any footage from Sea of Monsters yet?
Yeah, well I’ve seen the entire movie. All I can say is it’s bigger, crazier, and I was thoroughly entertained. You can’t make a sequel to something and not make it bigger, you know.
Final Twitter question. Are you aware of your fanbase called the ‘Lermaniacs’?
Yes, they do pop up pretty often in my everyday life!
Lovely talking to you Logan, hope the film does well.
Thank you! Take care and have a nice day.