Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No stranger to war action genre, Logan Lerman who have previously starred with Mel Gibson as his youngest son in “The Patriot” now fills the shoes of a young soldier thrown at war in “Fury” starring alongside Brad Pitt, Michael Pena, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Isaacs.

It’s no fear, no surrender and no retreat for the men in “Fury” where a troop of five fearlessly heads on against an army of 300 during World War II. Brad Pitt’s character known as Wardaddy is the leader of the troop who forms a bond with the youngest of the troop named Norman Ellison, played by Logan Lerman.

The intensity of the screenplay that director David Ayer wrote for Fury has become his hallmark, but the movie, like his screenplays for “Training Day,” “The Fast and the Furious” and other films, also demonstrates a deep connection between the characters. His movies are visceral and real, but they’re also deeply about brotherly love and friendship in the most extreme circumstances.

In this film, Ayer has drawn a similarly complex relationship, as the bond that forms between the young Norman and the veteran Wardaddy forms the heart of the film. “Norman is young and fresh and innocent, and that makes him endearing, but it’s also the problem he must overcome,” says Ayer. “Wardaddy must break him of his innocence.”

“In a lot of ways, Norman is the son that Wardaddy never had,” Ayer continues. “He mentors Norman, parents him, guides him to become an effective soldier.”

Ayer says that in the closing days of World War II, it was not unusual for very young and very unprepared men to be thrust suddenly into battle on the front lines. “After the Battle of the Bulge, the U.S. was short on manpower, so they’d give these guys sometimes as little as three or four weeks of combat training, and pack ‘em up and send ‘em into war,” he notes. “Norman is very unprepared for what’s happening, and he becomes their hostage, in a way, as he’s thrown into this steel cage and dragged across the fields of Germany into combat. Norman ends up in situations that he’s absolutely not equipped for, and it’s Wardaddy’s job to train him, to get him to overcome the civilian’s sense of right and wrong.”

Logan Lerman plays the young soldier. He says he was attracted to the role for its complexity. “For actors of my age, there are a lot of simple characters out there,” he notes. “Norman, on the other hand, was very complicated and stressful to think about. It seemed like a challenge — it’s a great role, a great story, and I’d have the chance to work with a lot of people that I admire.”

As a result of all of that prep that went into the movie, Lerman says, Ayer was comfortable giving his actors the freedom to interpret the characters as they saw fit. “We spent at least a month and a half, meeting every day — but really longer than that, meeting all the time — going over the script every time we would meet,” says Lerman. “We got to the point that we knew the material so well — every little section, every piece — that we became comfortable. We could play around, go in different directions — go ‘off book’ a little bit.”

To keep the production as real as possible, Ayer and his team also engaged in extensive research into the military uniforms of the time that would become the film’s costume wardrobe. “We studied a lot of photographs and we were fortunate to have some good people to advise us on what should be correct,” says Ayer.

Of course, Norman Ellison’s breakdown is far different from that of the other men of the Fury. While the other four men of the Fury have been together for many years, Norman is just joining the crew. “We weren’t subtle about who the new guy was,” says costume designer Owen Thornton. “The other guys are covered in dirt, grease, holes, stains and damage. They’re grubby and tired men. We created their look with dirt and damage, whereas Norman is brand new and fresh faced. He’s clean shaven, has a beautiful haircut and no dirt in his fingernails.”

Logan Lerman has come of age in the entertainment industry with an impressive body of work. He maintains a fearless pursuit of challenging roles, evolving with each new project and fast becoming one of Hollywood’s A-list young actors, for both independent and mainstream film. His previous hit films includes the “Percy Jackson” films, “Noah,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (for which he received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Charlie), “What Women Want,” “Stuck In Love,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Butterfly Effect,” “Hoot,” “The Number 23,” “Riding in Cars with Boys” and “3:10 to Yuma” among others.

Now showing nationwide in theaters from Pioneer Films.

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