MOVING FORWARD – In his second appearance in DAMAN, Logan Shroyer talks about the third season of “This is Us,” his character in the show and other projects.
The first time we caught up with 19-year-old actor Logan Shroyer was last February, at DAMAN’s February/March edition. The second time, it was at May, where the “This is Us” actor went all the way from Los Angeles to Jakarta to celebrate DAMAN’s 11th anniversary. Now, he is back for yet another round with even more updates to share. Particularly about the third season of hit TV series “This Is Us,” which is currently airing. Furthermore, Shroyer also has much more to tell about his character, the teenage version of Kevin Pearson, as well as “The Relic,” a unique film project that sees him both acting and producing.
DAMAN: Hi Logan, great to have you with us again. The last time we had a chance to talk with you was at DAMAN’s anniversary party last May. What have you been busy with since then?
Logan Shroyer: I’ve been working on season three of “This is Us” for the most part, but once I got back from Bali I pretty much use the break to enjoy summer and hang out with my friends. Which was interesting because I’m a workaholic, so I’m glad to be back on the show.
DA MAN: What were some of the most memorable moments from your trip to Bali?
Logan Shroyer: It was a great trip with some great people. Something that I might not ever be able to live down was when I almost drowned while surfing out in front of the hotel—in front of everyone at the pool. The waves are faster in Bali and I made it out fine, but I sure scared the hell out of everybody.
DA MAN: Moving on to your work, the third season of “This Is Us” is currently airing. What do you think are the biggest highlights of the show this time around?
Logan Shroyer: Well, Kevin is on an interesting path right now on this season because we’re beginning to see how he evolves into the older Kevin played by Justin Hartley. And a big part of that is that he is drinking to cover up the pain of Jack’s death. There’s a lot of great stuff in this season that I can’t wait for everyone to see.
DA MAN: In what ways will season three top season two?
Logan Shroyer: I’d say this latest season, kind of like all the seasons, is a roller coaster and a cluster of all of these emotions combined: Happy, sad, joyous, defeated, etc. It’s one of my favorite things about this show.
DA MAN: All in all, how would you best describe the mood of “This Is Us” season three? Or, perhaps, on a scale of bitter and sad to sweet and happy, where does the show’s latest season stand?
Logan Shroyer: I think the Vietnam War stuff might’ve already done it for me, but I know from talking to the writers that there are some unexpected twists and turns that I doubt you will suspect this season.
DA MAN: The approval rating for “This Is Us” has steadily climbed through the seasons and it has also been nominated for so many awards—and won quite a few. What do you think is the key behind the series’ enduring success?
Logan Shroyer: I think it all starts in the writing room, where they produce great stories for us to tell. I think everybody who works on the show is magnificent at what they do, and we definitely plan on keeping the momentum. The accolades are the cherries on top, because we have so much fun making this show.
DA MAN: You play a character—teenage Kevin—who’s going through adolescence, has to deal with defeat and heartbreak, and so on. How do you prepare yourself to get into the shoes of a character like this?Logan Shroyer: I really just approach it like I would any other scene I do in my acting class. I do my due diligence on understanding the circumstances and my character’s relationship to those circumstances. It’s kind of just like you daydream and think about everything for a while, then when you show up on set you let it all go and see what happens.
DA MAN: Now that you have held the role for three seasons, are there any specific character traits that you share with Kevin?
Logan Shroyer: I think Kevin feels isolated or somewhat estranged in his family and I wouldn’t say that’s how I feel in my family, but I definitely find myself feeling like that in life sometimes and I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to.
DA MAN: And on the flip side, what is it that viewers misunderstand the most about teenage Kevin?
Logan Shroyer: A lot of people think he’s just a douchebag or kind of a jerk. But his attitude reflects something much deeper that’s going on in the family and this persona or aggravation he shows is the best way he knows to deal with it. He’s definitely not perfect, but I’d say he’s definitely misunderstood. Not as much as Miguel, but definitely misunderstood!
DA MAN: If there’s one thing that you can change about teenage Kevin’s storyline in future seasons, what would it be?
Logan Shroyer: That’s a tough question to ask, because as an actor I want there to be conflict and drama going on, but for Kevin’s sake I just want him to get his life together and stop messing up! I see what happens with Justin Hartley’s Kevin Pearson and I’m like: “Come on, Kevin. We’re better than this.”
DA MAN: And if you could play another character in the show, who would be your top picks?Logan Shroyer: I think Jack is an amazing character. And if I was a little older maybe I could be doing some of the stuff related to Vietnam. But, I am very happy with Kevin Pearson and I think Milo Ventimiglia is the only guy for that role.
DA MAN: “This Is Us” has quite the stellar cast. What is it like working with an ensemble cast like this and how has the dynamics between cast and crew members grown through the seasons?
Logan Shroyer: It’s amazing to work with this kind of cast who are all so talented and caring. I think we’ve all just grown closer over time and it makes things easier, especially when playing a family.
DA MAN: Above all else, “This Is Us” is a highly successful TV show. Has your role in the series led to new opportunities?
Logan Shroyer: It definitely has and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. The show has changed my life.
DA MAN: You are also co-directing, writing, producing and acting in “The Relic.” Any updates on this project you can share with us?
Logan Shroyer: This project has turned into a short film that I’m developing which is loosely based on “The Relic.” I’m really taking my time with this one while the last ones were more on the fly and for fun. This is still really fun for me, but I really want to make something that I can say I put everything into.
DA MAN: Releasing a film on Instagram presents quite a few new challenges, like the one minute restriction for each individual post. What made you and your team want to try this unique idea in the first place?
Logan Shroyer: That really describes the whole purpose of the project. We wanted to do something that we’ve never seen before and be experimental with social media—something that our generation has that’s unique. We really just wanted to have fun with it and see what would happen.
DA MAN: Beyond your Instagram-based film project, how important is it for an actor like you to have an active social media presence?
Logan Shroyer: It’s pretty important. I think that this world is moving in that direction and having an online presence gives people a chance to see more of you and something that’s uniquely you, not just how you’re associated with a film or TV show.
DA MAN: Outside of “This Is Us” and “The Relic,” are you currently involved in any other film projects?
Logan Shroyer: You know, I’m excited for my future and to see what happens, but for right now that’s definitely enough to keep me busy.
DA MAN: Looking forward, are there any particular roles or new genres that you want explore?
Logan Shroyer: I’ve always been a huge fan of drama, but I really just want to work with great filmmakers and great actors and storytellers. I just want to work with the best and then learn from them.
DA MAN: How about outside of films: What else are you passionate about besides acting?
Logan Shroyer: I used to be an avid surfer, but acting and filmmaking has pretty much taken over my life. I’m a pretty focused person and I’m sure I will do other things with my life, but for right now this is what I’m doing.
DA MAN: You mentioned that you also surf and play ping-pong. How often do you get to make time for these hobbies amid your busy work schedule?
Logan Shroyer: It’s like I’m predicting these questions with my answers. [Laughs] Yes, I would love to be surfing more, so I’m going to make an effort to get in the water more. Surfing is tough because I don’t live close to the beach anymore, but if you wake up early enough you can make it happen.
DA MAN: Last question from us: Where do you see yourself in, say, ten years from now?
Logan Shroyer: Ten years from now I see myself having my own production company and developing projects, acting, directing and working with my friends doing what I love. Which is sort of what I’m already doing right now, but I’m excited to see how things develop and grow including myself.
Photography Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Styling Monty Jackson
Grooming Robert Ryan
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