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Logan Lerman Honors Two Families in ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’

Logan Lerman has been an actor for more than two decades, starting at age 5, and he’s been sent a number of scripts about the Holocaust. They read as exploitative to him.

“That’s always rubbed me the wrong way,” he said. “I’m like, ‘No, that doesn’t feel right.’”

But the story of the Shoah he now stars in, “We Were the Lucky Ones,” felt different to the performer best known for his work in films like “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012) and “Fury” (2014).

Based on the novel of the same title by Georgia Hunter, the eight-episode series premieres Thursday on Hulu. It tracks the members of the Kurc family as they are dispersed throughout Eastern Europe, where they live, and elsewhere when the Nazis invade. Lerman, 32, stars as Addy Kurc, a musician who has been living in Paris and finds himself unable to get home to Radom, Poland. His journey takes him to Casablanca and eventually Rio de Janeiro, all while he is unaware of the fates of his beloved siblings and parents. As the title would imply, this is less a story of loss than it is of survival.

While Hunter’s book is fictional, the Kurcs are named for and based on her maternal grandfather’s family, and their sagas were derived from her extensive research into their experiences. A co-executive producer of the series, she shared that background with Lerman as he set out to play Addy, who is based on her grandfather. But the actor reached into his own personal history as well, channeling his own grandfather, who was also a Jewish refugee during World War II. The result is a performance that combines both family histories, paying tribute to Hunter and Lerman’s ancestry in the process.

“I also wanted to do it for the reason that I was like, ‘Oh I want to show my grandfather this,’” Lerman said in a video call.

Joey King and Lerman in “We Were the Lucky Ones,” adapted from Georgia Hunter’s best-selling novel.Credit…Hulu
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