For a while after the terrifying events of this summer, I’ve been struggling to write anything at all. I was unable to express precisely what I was feeling, apart from an immediate reaction of sadness, gratefulness and determination, but it was more than that. If I couldn’t write about what had just happened, what could I write about? Everything that didn’t have to do with the terror attacks felt insignificant, and writing about something else felt almost improper. Now it’s been nearly two months, and while it still doesn’t go one day when I don’t think about and miss my friends, I wanted to see if I could try and write about something light and insignificant again.
So, if only to get back in the game, let’s start with a true softball: The beauty of Logan Lerman. Regular readers of this blog should not be terribly surprised by the subject, seeing as Logan has previously been featured in the #1 spot at the Sexiest Males Alive list. But even though I don’t think I need a specific reason for serenading him, I have one nonetheless: Last week saw the release of a new photoshoot he did with Hedi Slimane, for VMan‘s “Young Hollywood” feature. The strange thing is that it was what I didn’t like about the pictures that convinced me of what a true beauty Lerman is. Logan has a sleep-deprived, glassy look in these pictures, which was something of a turn-off. But no matter how hard you try to shed him of his mild-mannered charisma, you can’t take it away. It’s there in these pictures, as in all others. It reminds me somewhat of the “Dirty Zac” photoshoot with Zac Efron from Interview Magazine, that I wrote about a couple of years ago. You can run Zac through the mud as many times you want, but his natural beauty will still win the day. Just like Logan survived Hedi Slimane’s rough-up.
In a sense, you can see it in his acting career as well. In my estimation, his best performances to date has been as Bobby McCallister in the WB’s 2004 teen drama Jack & Bobby, and as the son of Renée Zellweger in Richard Loncraine’s 2009 comedy-drama My One and Only. They seem to play to his temperament as an actor, and at the same time they play to his nice-guy looks in a way that allows him to subtly tweak that image when necessary. His greatest asset as an actor is therefore also his greatest liability: He has a physique (open face, lanky build) that naturally exudes both insecurity and personal warmth, but when he is asked to counteract this by going for a bigger, louder and more self-assured performance – as seen in the awful fantasy spectacle Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2010), and, judging from the trailer, in the upcoming 3-D Musketeers movie – it’s like he tenses up to the point of being reduced to wide stares and heavy breathing.
That’s another reason why I’m truly excited to see what he can do with his upcoming lead role in Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, set for release sometime next year. The source material, a well-written, tender and funny novel by Chbosky himself, should put Logan’s range as an actor to the test. The role of Charlie, an obviously smart but somewhat distant high school student who is slowly drawn into a world he has thus far only observed from afar, intuitively lies closer to the Lerman of the Hedia Slimane photos, than the one who last year put himself up for a young Peter Parker. If the movie version works, I imagine Logan’s Charlie as something like what Jesse Eisenberg’s Walt Berkman in The Squid and the Whale (2005) could have been like if he had actually read the books he was constantly going on about.
My main reason for hoping that Wallflower is a hit, however, apart from what it would do to the demand for more Logan, is that it would keep him at firmer footing in the business. Although he’s reportedly doing another Percy Jackson movie, his efforts at broad box-office hits have so far been pretty abysmal (The Three Musketeers is gonna tank, believe me). If he wants a chance to right his career afterward, it will serve him well to show that he can play moody dramas on the side. Plus, less CGI means more of the Logan I know and love. And he’s even a decent actor.