Past, Present, & Future W/ ‘Project Almanac’ Star Sam Lerner

csqDnPILFFauX3mwx6C4OFsb9QaOOnqMLA9CisObrJ4,J39FbGjaX_nn9v2AURQOcnWLJD8H1RlKH1tPUD-fFo4,hke2o7CJ7sJLMogxmpeypLHVV8SkgtUtls_0H_tLWdgIt’s very likely that at some point in his life, every little millennial boy wanted to be Marty McFly. Although now that it’s 2015 and there doesn’t appear to be a hoverboard in the works, all of our dreams have been shattered.

I joked about this with Sam Lerner while discussing his new film, Project Almanac, in theaters Jan. 30.

“Honestly, with some of the crazy styles that people have now, that was a pretty good guess,” he laughed. “But I really wish there was a hoverboard. That would be unbelievable and I would take that everywhere; I would not drive a car.”

Project Almanac has already been compared to the popular 80’s trilogy Back To The Future. Although Lerner sees nothing in common with the two movies other than time travel, he’s flattered to share a genre with one of his favorite films.

“I think Back to the Future is a perfect movie in every sense,” he said. “Marty McFly is the coolest, so if people want to associate us with him, I’m totally cool with that.” In Almanac, Lerner plays Quinn, the best friend and comedic relief of David (played by Jonny Weston). They discover blueprints for a time machine left by David’s father. True to Hollywood form, when teenagers find a time machine, they’re going to have some irresponsible fun. But not without learning the consequence of actions—the hard way.

One piece of irresponsible fun turned out to be a nice perk for Lerner and his cast mates. After two and a half months of shooting in Atlanta, the studio sent the cast and crew to the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago to recreate a music festival for a scene. Although belligerent groupies proved to be a camera crew’s worst nightmare, they still managed to stop and enjoy the music.


“We were there with our friends that we made on the movie but we were also working, so it was kind of the best of both worlds,” Lerner remembers The Killers and Mumford and Sons came to mind as his favorite performances from the festival. But if time travel were real, he said he’d visit the 70’s for a proper music experience.  “I’ve spoken to my parents about it, and everything was just so much cooler then,” he says.

They would know. His father, Ken Lerner, has been acting since the 1970’s and has appeared in such hit shows like Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, and The Golden Girls just to name a few. He now runs The Ken Lerner Studio, coaching young actors like his son.

For Sam, it’s a convenient arrangement. With natural talent, he fell into acting at a young age. But having a father and uncle (Michael Lerner) in the industry made his transition into a professional actor much easier. “I can go to them for any sort of advice,” Sam says. “They’ve been through everything that happens in this business.”

The 22-year-old grew up working with actors like Ben Stiller and Jack Black and guest starring on shows such as Malcolm in the Middle and Two and a Half Men and most recently, Suburgatory and The Goldbergs. Although he’s been acting since he was 9 years old, he feels he’s led a pretty normal childhood, balancing the industry with the daily antics of growing up. But with a film the size of Project Almanac, next year around this time, his life and career may be harder to manage. But until then, what better than a movie about time travel to inspire some nostalgia for adolescence?

Article by Glenn Garner

Project Alamanc Hits theaters everywhere Friday the 30th.

Photo by: Sami Drasin

About The Author

Dio Anthony
TV Columnist, Features Editor

Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, child of the internet-age, Dio Anthony is a self-confessed pop culture observer, lending his expertise in story telling to various aspects of the entertainment industry. An avid television viewer, and columnist with a profound knowledge of the history of American TV & film, he has reported for many of entertainment’s top online-news sites. A connoisseur of old-timey sitcoms from Hollywood’s golden age and on, he believes the answers to life lie in a very well crafted scene.

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