Photography by Mr Tim Barber | Styling by Mr Jason Rider
Words by Mr Yale Breslin
Things are hotting up for 19-year-old Mr Lerman. What with a forthcoming role in the much anticipated Mr John Malkovich-produced film The Perks of Being a Wallflower (an adaptation of the 1999 book by Mr Stephen Chbosky), not to mention a lead role in Mr Paul WS Anderson's 3-D version of The Three Musketeers, this fresh-faced young actor is about to get noticed on a global level. Here, the piano-playing Californian (who now cites Ms Emma Watson as a friend), talks icons, instruments and what it's really like to meet your heroes.
You're a self-professed "film geek". What are your all time favourite movies?
I have a long list, but I can't say that I have a favourite film. The first ones that come to mind are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, American Beauty, Full Metal Jacket, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. I also love The Truman Show.
Who are your screen icons?
Jim Carrey is absolutely brilliant. The fact that he hasn't been nominated for more of his performances is ridiculous. He's one of the most brilliant actors. I've also always wanted to meet Kevin Spacey, although I don't know how I would react if I met him. It's so weird seeing someone that you are so familiar with and meeting them in person. It can either be incredibly exciting or incredibly disappointing. If they are disappointing, it can end up ruining my opinion of a film that I've loved.
The Three Musketeers is about to be released, where you play D'Artagnan, one of the lead male roles. How did you mentally prepare for the part?
I saw all the films and I was trying to pick up on other performances that I appreciated. I surprisingly liked Gene Kelly's performance the most, as it was the most fun. It was light and it didn't take itself too seriously - which made me enjoy the film more because I could see that character was enjoying himself. And that's what I wanted to bring to my portrayal, honestly, I have a hard time watching myself. In my case, it's just better to work.
What's your approach to style?
Before I started to promote films, I didn't really have sophisticated style. I was always that guy who would pick up on the simple trends of the time. But now, it's luckily all taken care of. The studio coordinates these fittings for me and they are responsible for creating this image. I give a lot of credit to all those guys - 'cause I don't know what the hell I would do otherwise.
What do you never leave home without?
When filming, I like to travel with an instrument.
Either guitar or piano. Guitar is much easier to travel with though! It is very therapeutic for me. I don't know how to play other people's music. It's all mine.
You just wrapped the coming-of-age flick The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a story about a teenager coping with love, friendship, loss and heartbreak. Were you able to relate to your character?
Definitely. I related to him a lot. It was a tough one to get into. I was happy to get out of the character once it was done. It was pretty draining.
Where was it filmed?
It was shot in Pittsburg. John Malkovich's company produced it, and it was a great cast of young actors.
What was it like working with Ms Emma Watson?
She's fantastic and really is a very talented girl, and she's totally down to earth. I have only great things to say about her. She's exceptionally hardworking.
Did you guys hang out much off set?
We had a blast together. We all became pretty close. A lot of us love music, so we would have jam sessions, playing instruments and writing songs.
You're 19 years old and about to embark on your twenties. What's in store for the next ten years?
The whole reason why I got into acting was my passion for films. But I really want to start film-making and start my own projects. Getting behind the camera is something I've always wanted to do. I've written a lot and brainstorm ideas, and I plan on pursuing them very soon.