The highly anticipated film Where The Crawdads Sing is set to hit theaters tomorrow! Based on the bestselling novel by Delia Owens, Where The Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young social outcast who finds herself at the center of a sensational murder trial in the 1960s. Nerds and Beyond had the opportunity to discuss the film with actor Logan Macrae, who plays Kya’s older brother Jodie. Macrae discussed his start in the industry, what originally drew him to Where The Crawdads Sing, and more!
Nerds and Beyond: While you’ve been acting for a few years now, you started out as a very successful model. How did you get started in that industry, and what made you decide to try your hand at acting?
Logan Macrae: Modeling kind of happened on its own and then with acting I chose to push the envelope a little bit. I took senior year pictures with a photographer in high school and she suggested I pursue modeling. Nothing really came of it until college when I took new professional photos and they were sent to an agency in LA. My LA agency placed me with agencies all over the world and then I spent a summer in NYC and never left. Acting came about while in NYC. I had a lot of down time and wanted to pursue something that I thought would benefit my modeling work. I took a sensory class that really got me in touch with my emotions and how to work through scenes using my own life experiences. From there I just continued to push the craft with scene study, improv, and audition work.
Nerds and Beyond: In making the transition from full time working model to actor, what surprised you the most?
Logan Macrae: I would say the therapeutic benefits of acting. You are living out some very real emotions while working on your craft as an actor. And when I first started it was almost like a form of therapy for me. There are not many classrooms where you get to scream at the top of your lungs and say whatever you want. As humans we all need some type of release and acting became that for me.
Nerds and Beyond: What lessons from your modeling career have helped you as an actor?
Logan Macrae: Modeling has helped me on the technical side when it comes to hitting marks or eye lines. But I think that the biggest benefit in starting in the modeling world was just the learning that you are going to be told no A LOT! To be successful in either world you really only need to be told yes a few times and very big things can happen. But on the flip side it’s also how you deal with all the times you are being told no and without that mindset I don’t know if I would have stuck it out as long as I have.
Nerds and Beyond: While Where The Crawdads Sing is certainly a high-profile role for you, this isn’t the only big project you have coming up. Devotion with Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell is set for release in October, while Blackbird with Taron Egerton, Ray Liotta, and Greg Kinnear premiered on July 8. Has working with these veteran actors and learning from them changed your approach to acting?
Logan Macrae: Honestly working with all of these high-profile people has been the best part of each one of those experiences. As actors, we work so hard just for the opportunity to be on set, and for me to be able to say in one year that I have been on set and worked with Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell, Jonathan Majors, Taron Egerton, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jamie Foxx is absolutely insane. There was one day on set with Jamie Foxx for The Burial that my character didn’t have any lines, but it was such a blessing because I, therefore, had the time to watch what Jamie did before and after each take. I think it has definitely changed how I work, and my biggest takeaway is just to trust my individual approach to the work and have confidence in my choices.
Nerds and Beyond: Had you read Where The Crawdads Sing before signing on to the film, and what originally drew you to the project?
Logan Macrae: I did not read WTCDS before I signed on, I basically read the SparkNotes version. If I had been able to read the entire book beforehand I would have, but unfortunately, that amount of time isn’t always given. I have to give credit to my team because they felt I was right for this project and in this case, they were very right.
Nerds and Beyond: Some actors who take on films based on books choose to only focus on the script, not wanting the novel to influence their choices, while others use the book as supplemental material to flesh out what they’re given in a script. How much did the novel influence the way you approached the character of Jodie?
Logan Macrae: One of the most difficult things about novels that become movies is that it is very hard to fit an entire novel into traditional movie length. Do I think Lucy Alibar [screenplay writer] did a great job, I definitely do! Now all that being said, yes I did use the novel to supplement my character work for Jodie. The novel goes into such depth of the relationship of Kya and Jodie that I think it was essential to use that backstory to build Jodie into who he is on screen.
Nerds and Beyond: Jodie is an interesting character on his own, but the way he comes in and out of his sister Kya’s life is also crucial to driving the story. How did you work with your costar Daisy Edgar-Jones to build that relationship onscreen?
Logan Macrae: I wish I had some grand story to tell about how Daisy and I built that relationship but unfortunately in the world of making movies the timing and opportunity to do it doesn’t always exist. The fortunate thing though is that Daisy is such an open and welcoming person that it didn’t take us very long to find similarities in our real lives.
Nerds and Beyond: The gorgeous setting of Where The Crawdads Sing is part of its appeal, both to readers and viewers. What was it like to be immersed in that world while shooting, particularly since you are based in New Orleans?
Logan Macrae: The overall scenery is one of the biggest things that I am looking forward to the audience being able to see. Polly Morgan [DP] and Olivia Newman [director] did such a wonderful job in making this story come to life. I remember my first day on set and seeing Kya and Jodie’s childhood home and thinking this is more real than I ever could have imagined it.
Nerds and Beyond: Where The Crawdads Sing is a beloved novel and also widely read, meaning that many who read the book first will come into the film with preconceived ideas about the way it should look on screen and who the characters are. Was there any pressure that you felt to live up to the success of the original novel while shooting?
Logan Macrae: There were pressures in the sense that you always want to do right by the story. But at the same time, I think the entire team behind this movie did such an excellent job making sure that this story was told correctly that it definitely made my job easier.
Nerds and Beyond: What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
Logan Macrae: Everyone has and will go through some type of difficulty in their lifetime, but that difficulty doesn’t have to define you.
Our thanks to Logan Macrae for speaking with us! Where The Crawdads Sing is in theaters everywhere on July 15.