The hunt is on: Logan Lerman and Jerrika Hinton chat about Hunters and heading back to the '70s
It's back to a Nazi hunt with Hunters, created by David Weil. Executive produced by Jordan Peele and led by Al Pacino and Logan Lerman, Hunters follows a band of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York City.
The Hunters, as they’re known, discover that hundreds of Nazi officials are conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the US, and they set out on a bloody quest to bring them to justice and thwart their genocidal plans.
We got Logan and Jerrika Hinton to tell us more about the show...
What did you think when you read the script?
Logan Lerman: I've really enjoyed the experience so far, and it's been a great group of people. But each script that I've read has surprised me and, you know, tonally they're very different. I feel like we're experimenting and trying new things in each episode.
And, there's just a great character at the centre of it. For me, at least for Jonah, and our characters and antagonists and protagonists, they're all interesting and have surprising twists and turns in their characters arcs.
Was it personal for you?
Logan Lerman: In some ways, this show was very relatable and personal for me but, I mean, in terms of a character, I don't really relate to Jonah very much at all, no. Not at all, which I find, which is something that I like.
I mean it's more exciting that way. But, culturally, I'm Jewish and it's a very Jewish show. And, Jonah's a very Jewish character and to be in that world was easier for me, to just kind of sink into it without having to do as much research.
How would you describe what the show is about?
Logan Lerman: The show is about, I guess, in the boiled-down version, it’s about a group of people in 1977 in New York City, who are identifying and locating Nazis that have assumed new identities in the US, American identities, after World War II. They're finding them and, and killing them.
And who are you in all of this?
Logan Lerman: I play Jonah Heidelbaum, he's kind of our entryway into this world. He's our protagonist in the series.
And at the beginning of the series, his grandmother is murdered and he's trying to figure out who did it and he gets sucked into this kind of dark underbelly in the city to try to find out more information on who might have been responsible for this, and he ends up discovering this huge plot and this whole other world that he had no idea existed, and no idea that his grandmother was a part of.
What's his struggle about throughout the series?
Logan Lerman: Jonah's struggle is a very complicated one. To try to sum it up especially in a vague short way is very difficult for me, but I'd say, at the centre of his conflict is Jonah trying to define his morality and the definition of right and wrong. And, you know, what he's capable of.
Is it fun for you to work in a show set the '70s?
Logan Lerman: It is fun to do a show that takes place in the '70s. It's cool to see the set design and to see the wardrobe and the hair and makeup. It's all really nuanced and detailed.
They're fun sets to show up to work on every day. You get to see, just from the background actors to the production design - it's all really immersive and cool, and it makes it easy for me to do my job.
So, when an actor is prepping for a job at home in their normal life and a regular world, it's kind of hard to see yourself or see the character or really understand what you're doing.
Could you introduce your character, Millie?
Jerrika Hinton: I play Millie Morris in ‘The Hunt’. She is a badass. She’s one of the first black FBI agents. She’s a woman who believes in right and wrong and believes in bringing the fullest of herself to her job while shading other pieces of herself in other parts of the world.
How would you describe Millie?
Jerrika Hinton: Millie is someone who believes in institutions. She’s dedicated her life to working for the government. She’s a devout Catholic.
She believes in making choices that matter, and at the same time, she is a part of a world that in a variety of ways is telling her that she doesn’t belong and that all of these values that she holds are fantasies.
And so, she is the kind of woman that is very smart, and very hungry and motivated, and believes in order and sacrifice, but all of that seems to be at odds with what she’s seeing on a day-to-day basis.
What does Millie struggle with?
Jerrika Hinton: I think Millie struggles with integrating the different sides of herself. She grew up religious, she grew up with a deep understanding and respect for order and sacrifice, and so it makes sense that she’s dedicated her life to law enforcement, to this quest for justice in this way, which is at odds with how our system is run.
And then, within herself personally, she’s, she’s a gay woman, and that definitely does not square with the Catholic upbringing, definitely doesn’t square with who her parents are.
It doesn’t square with how the world in 1977… it is not accepting of, of her. And so, she’s, she’s constantly navigating which piece of herself she’s allowing to the forefront.
How does Millie evolve in the series?
Jerrika Hinton: Millie’s trajectory of evolution is similar to Jonah’s. They both kind of enter this world as babes in the woods. She has a much more mature point of view than Jonah does, but it’s still fairly innocent. It hasn’t really been tested.
And so, she goes from seeing the world as… she goes from understanding the quest for justice in a very clean-cut way to learn that there are good choices you can make and bad choices you can make, and it is your personal integrity that will always lead you towards the good.
What are some things David explored?
Jerrika Hinton: The largest overarching thing that he’s exploring is this idea of a revenge fantasy. I think we are so used to that being oversimplified, and he does not do that at all.
He revels in the complicated moral decisions that one must make if you’re going to go on a quest for vengeance, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a revenge fantasy kind of become revenge pragmatism in the way that this show makes it.
It isn’t just having fun holding a mirror up to you and saying, okay, you, you, you… so you want to go like hooray hunting Nazis. It’s also revelling in the actual morass of making that choice and what does that turn you into, and how are you justifying this?
And something else that I really love that he’s doing, I think there’s a question of who’s the villain in the show.
And obviously, the Nazis are villains, but I think what’s very fascinating about what David is doing is that he’s doing an exploration of villainy as in total, you know, who is guilty and who is culpable?
I think he’s raising those questions and with equal weight. Guilt is like I can justifiably charge you with an error and culpability is when you are deserving of blame, and he’s doing both of those in equal measure, and I love that about the show.
What do you think the audience will love about this show?
Jerrika Hinton: I really hope what the audience will love is what I loved reading in the first script, which is some really inventive storytelling.
I think when you’re talking about the Holocaust when you’re talking about government conspiracies, it’s very easy for that to be a kind of drudgery, and this show does not do that at all.
It just blends tones in such a fascinating way and I really hope that what David has put on the page is translated to the screen.
I also hope that there’s something and I really do feel like there’s something kind of fundamentally Jewish about the blending of those tones and textures in the show - not making it just as one thing because we’re dealing with this very big idea, you know?
Hunters streams exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
- Team Indulge