The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a high-school movie, capturing the trials and tribulations of adolescents trying to find their place in the world, but for the actors in Perks, the set felt a lot more like college.
“We were kind of living in a dorm environment,” star Logan Lerman said of the nights in the hotel during production with Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, and other castmates.
A featurette on Perks’ DVD and Blu-ray (available today) called “Best Summer Ever” puts a spotlight on the bonding the young cast did in that dorm-like environment. Check out an EW exclusive clip from the featurette below, then read on for what Lerman had to say about shooting Perks and his next project with Watson, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It’s very rare for an author to not only adapt his own book but direct it. What was it like working with Stephen Chbosky on set?
LOGAN LERMAN: It was great. He was a great asset to have around. He was a cheat sheet for the whole story. Anytime I had a question, he was the go-to guy. I loved working with him. It was the most passionate set I’ve been on. There was a vibe, a fuel there. He really made everybody feel like it was their film, when at the end of the day, it was really his.
There’s a scene toward the beginning of the film when “Come On Eileen” plays at the dance, and Charlie dances his way up to Patrick and Sam. What was that like to shoot?
Oh, it was a lot of fun. That was a few days there when we were trying to knock out all the scenes at that location. Most of the time was going into perfecting the dance that Em and Ezra did, kind of coordinated thing that they made up. That took a lot of time. And then it was, “Alright. I’m just gonna wing it and give them some options.” So I gave them some options. It was just fun cause I got to just f— around on set, just dance.
So Emma and Ezra’s dance was highly choreographed, and you just kind of threw it out there?
Yeah, I didn’t really want to show them what I was going to do. So there was a lot of crappy takes, a lot of ridiculous stuff. I don’t know what the hell I was doing, and Charlie didn’t either, so it worked well.
Was the song playing on set?
Yes, it was. After a while, that song got a little irritating. After like the 70th time of playing it.
So it’s not a song you want to be listening to anytime soon.
You know what’s funny is I’ve heard it over 100 times, I’d say, and I still don’t know the lyrics. I just know “come on Eileen,” and everything else I have no idea.
The cast has talked a lot about how quickly all of you bonded. Was there any moment you realized it was going to work, that you were all going to get along well?
Yes. We all basically lived together, and we’d be hanging out all the time. Every second of every day we were pretty much together. We’d come back to our hotel rooms at the end of the day, hang out. We looked at each other and said, “We have no idea what this movie’s going to be. It could be terrible. It could be good.” You never know. But regardless, it’ll always be really special for us ‘cause we had so many good times making it and became tight friends during that process. But fortunately, we all saw the film and were like, “Oh, hey, it worked out. It’s pretty good.”
You made another film with Emma, Noah.
Yeah, it’s a first for me. It’s pretty rare that that happens, working with someone so close to the last film we did. We’ve been in tight quarters for a little while.
In Perks, Emma has an American accent.
We had the role reversal on Noah.
How did that dynamic work? Did you help her out on Perks, then she helped you out on Noah?
I wouldn’t really call it British that I had to do [for Noah]. “Mid-Atlantic” is what they call it. I don’t know what the heck it is. On the set for Perks, she was a little nervous about it, but she did a great job, and she worked really hard. We were all there for her, the whole cast. Anytime she had a question she’d usually come over to me – “How does that sound?” We’d let her know. It was a good little team.
Noah is radically different from Perks. Was there anything was similar about the two sets?
Oh, hell no. The vibes were completely different. But it was nice to have that familiarity of a friend because it was a pretty intimidating set. It was much more intimidating than stepping onto Perks.
What are you working on next?
I’m looking at things right now just trying to find it. I just finished Noah, just looking for the next thing I’m passionate about. But it’s nice to have a few weeks off.
Reporting by Adam B. Vary.