We met Percy Jackson himself, Logan Lerman, and his co-stars Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson after getting an advance screening of scenes from their Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. The film lands in theaters August 7 and the sequel to Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is just another spoke in the wheel of popularity that is the works of author Rick Riordan.
When it comes to why the Percy Jackson world in books and film have resonated so much, star Lerman says it’s about stories with young people embroiled in challenging situations that appeals to the masses.
“There’s something really appealing, and especially to me growing up and even now; (the books and films are about) young people in extraordinary situations dealing with human issues, human problems, flawed characters as well,” Lerman said. “None of our characters is perfect. (In these books and films) kids get to save the world, you know? That’s crazy. That’s fun.”
Daddario, who plays Annabeth, believes that it taps into something in the youth of the world and those who were once young. “I think that it’s really hard to be a kid and hard to grow up. From personal experience we all know that is true,” she admitted.
“I think that this series shows that, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’re struggling with, you can still succeed. It doesn’t mean you can’t be who you want to be. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have amazing powers and abilities despite all your weaknesses. I think that’s really relatable and inspiring and it’s really cool to be part of that. I think that’s one of the reasons people love it.”
Jackson, who grows horns and equestrian legs to play Grover, thinks that there is such pessimism in the world today, that this ever-positive in the face of danger tale rings true.
“I think young kids these days need something good to believe in. You don’t see too many books and films that have underlying, positive messages for kids,” he said. “A lot of kids are doing their own thing on the internet so to have the positive force that readers can take from this is great for this generation because they definitely need it.”
As the title of their sequel suggests, as well as is shown in the Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters trailer, the action in this film plays to the son of Poseidon’s strengths. Lerman appreciated a little magic of the movies.
“We didn’t have to get wet,” he said and laughed. “It was nice but we were on a pretty small boat a lot and it was really hot. We can’t go back and forth to land because that’s adding another hour in between shots. So we were out in the boat for a long time! We were in New Orleans and it was the summertime. It was just the heat. It was kind of difficult to work with. But other than that, it was really beautiful.”
Lerman also cherished the chance to play a character in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters that is being continually challenged. After saving the world in the first film, Jackson feels the pressure to not be a one quest wonder.
“At the end of the first one, we ended it with him being the hero and now he’s not the hero anymore. And he has that similar thought in his mind like, ‘Maybe it was just luck, that one time. That’s my thing. That’s what I’ll be known for. Let me just accept being an average demi-god,’” Lerman said. “It’s human. It’s extraordinary but it’s human.”
When it came to returning to characters they played previously, but yet still years ago, Daddario reported that there was a fluency with the filming process that was a priceless help. “It was like going back to summer camp because you’re with old friends and there’s a familiarity so you’re very comfortable around them,” Daddario said.
“That helped us fall back into character. We all also know how to do green screen and are in different places in our lives and careers than we were for the first movie.”
Lerman can look back and is amazed how much he’s grown as a performer, but also as someone who keenly knows the mechanics of making a film. “On the first movie, we were really preparing for such a big action film with all the wire work and fighting and all that, I’d never done that,” Lerman said. “Getting into the second one, we felt pretty comfortable.”
Given Percy Jackson is a pretty popular world, the entire cast and crew knows the importance of getting things right for the millions of fans out there.
“The biggest thing for me is that it’s amazing that you are jumping into something so many young people are inspired by,” Daddario said. She too can relate. “When I was a kid I would go to Broadway shows and wait out back for the actors. They were like gods to me. So to be in the opposite position now to inspire someone… it’s kind of cool.”
Even though he made a splash in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Lerman said that he currently is most noticed for being the center of the Percy Jackson world.
“It almost goes without saying that the majority of people that would recognize me in my normal, everyday life from this film are kids. My family works a lot with children and it’s really nice to see that a movie can make them so happy,” he said. “That’s the most value I get out of being a part of this film.”