What did Logan Lerman do when he learned about the near-impossible swordplay he’d be required to pull off for Paul W.S. Anderson’s high-octane take on “The Three Musketeers”? What any actor would do: smile, nod and quietly freak out inside.
“I remember sitting down for the first time with Paul, the director, and Nick Powell, my stuntman and teacher, at Paul's house and we were going through the first discussions about what they were expecting from me physically,” says Lerman, who plays D’Artagnan in the adrenaline-fueled adaptaion of Dumas’ classic. “They were talking about everything that they wanted me to do, how they wanted me to be ambidextrous and do all this stuff and all these crazy sequences.”
“I just remember nodding my head and as I was leaving with my Nick, who's my trainer and taught me everything,” adds Lerman. “As we were leaving, walking through the front gates of his house I just looked at my friend with a smile and through my teeth saying, ‘I don't know how the hell I'm going to do this.’”
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It wasn’t long before Lerman began forcing himself to master his Musketeer rapier, “working out, like, six hours a day, every day, in L.A. for, like, two months before we got to Germany, where we trained for a month and a half,” he recalls. “Then the whole time – for four or five months – I was training every day. We made it work, and I ended up becoming comfortable with the sword and I really wasn't expecting to even to even pull through and I did. It ended up working out very well.”
Lerman adds that after a small legion of diverse actors have played the dashing D’Artagnan on film – Douglas Fairbanks, Don Ameche, Michael York, Maximillian Schell, Chris O’Donnell and Gabriel Byrne among them – he took inspiration from the most lightfooted interpretation.
“I've seen them all, actually, in preparation, and I was trying to figure out what I appreciated about other people's portrayals of him,” says Lerman. “Funny enough, the one that I liked the most or the one that I wanted to at least bring back, the quality that I really liked was Gene Kelly's version. I thought that it was the most entertaining because he was so playful. You could tell that he was having a good time. It had a lighter tone to it. That's kind of the D'Artagnan that I wanted to bring out, to bring to this filmm rather than a very melodramatic, brooding, over-the-top character. I'd rather tone it down a little bit and make it a little bit lighter and more fun for the audience.”
"The Three Musketeers" opens everywhere - in 3D - this Friday.