Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Interview with star Logan Lerman

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief poster

Logan Lerman plays Percy Jackson in "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief," directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter). The film, also starring Uma Thurman and Pierce Brosnan, is being released February 12 by 20th Century Fox.

Logan Lerman nabbed the role of the titular hero after Chris Columbus had caught a screening of the western "3:10 to Yuma," in which Lerman co-starred, opposite Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. But the wheels were set in motion before then. Columbus recalls the casting process: "My assistant, who's been with me for several years, told me a couple of years ago that if I was ever looking for a young star to be in one of my films, I should check out this movie, '3:10 to Yuma', in which this young man, Logan Lerman, had a key role. I watched the picture and thought he was an amazing actor. When it came time to cast 'Percy Jackson,' I thought of Logan. When I met him, I thought he had the essence of a potential movie star. Then, he did a screen test and I was completely blown away. Logan is like a forty-year-old person in a seventeen-year-old's body. His instincts are so remarkable. Logan has a sense of reality and intensity about him that I haven't seen in many young people. He's that fantastic."

Lerman relished working on such a large canvas. "This is a big movie!" Lerman exclaims. "I've never been part of a movie like this, on this level. The size kind of takes you back every day. And, with Chris Columbus attached, this amazing filmmaker, I wouldn't want to put my career in the hands of anybody else.

"I didn't realize what I got myself into when I started," the young actor notes about winning the film's title role. "I'm like, 'who did I fool to get to this point?' It never really hit me until I got to Vancouver [to begin filming] and saw these amazing sets. They built The Parthenon, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mount Olympus and the enormous Lotus Hotel and Casino."  

"What drives Percy to go on this huge journey is that he wants to save his Mom," says Lerman. "For him, that's bigger than saving the world. During the journey, he finds out that his mother is alive and Hades is holding her captive. So, Percy tries to find a way to get to the Underworld and have Hades release his mom. That's what drives him to travel cross country and face the [creatures] Hydra and Medusa and undergo lots of other wild adventures. Yes, he goes on this huge journey with his two friends to retrieve Zeus' stolen lightning bolt, and save the world. But, it's really about getting his mom back."