Visual Tales: Hey Julian! We did this shoot right before Xmas of 2021 and here we are now in February of 2022, how did you spend the beginning of the new year and what’s your wish for 2022?
Julian Lerner: I spent the holidays in Barbados with my Wonder Years family. It was amazing! I am hopeful everyone has a healthy and prosperous 2022 and that we all remember to love and appreciate one another.
VT: Thanks for doing this shoot with us, it was super fun and more so because we got to hear you perform some tunes for us. Where did your love of performing begin?
JL: My parents say I came out singing! I actually started as a gymnast. I was on the Junior Olympic team at Chelsea Piers New York and started competing at age 5. Gymnastics is a team sport but you compete solo on each event so it is like being on stage. I have always liked making people laugh and doing different accents with my Dad. When I was 7, I filmed my first commercial and I was hooked! Performing has always felt natural and like home.
VT: We asked you to choose two songs to perform for us, why did you choose these specific tunes?
JL: I love lots of different types of music. For our shoot, I wanted to choose two different genres of music that both told stories. Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi is an 80’s power ballad and really fun to belt out. The song uses Cowboy imagery to describe how lonely the life of a Rockstar can be. “a loaded six string on my back” – How killer is that line?! Danny’s Song by Loggins and Messina is a 70’s folk rock song and that is one of my favorite genres to sing. The lyrics from this song came from a letter Kenny Loggins wrote to his older brother, Dan, when Dan’s son was born. It is really beautiful.
VT: Have you written any original material on your own? If so, share with us one tune you are quite proud of.
JL: I am working on lyric writing now. My favorite place to work on lyrics is the shower. Here is a phrase I am messing around with currently, ”I go down to the river and I see my reflection, I dig deep inside but I know I can’t hide this feeling I’ve had ever since you walked into my life”.
VT: Who are some of your favorite recording artists and why do they appeal to you.
JL: Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Darryl Hall & John Oats, Elton John, James Taylor—each of these artists tell stories with their music which speaks to me and the type of music I hope to make.
VT: You are currently starring in the hit tv series, ABC's The Wonder Years as Brad Hitman, tell us about your character and are there similarities between you and Brad?
JL: Brad is funny, energetic and a good friend. I love to smile, laugh, and spend time with my friends just like Brad! I think we both have big hearts.
VT: You are also currently filming a new movie, Boys of Summer with Mel Gibson. How's it going with pandemic and all the craziness that are happening?
JL: I am having an amazing time shooting Boys of Summer. Everyone involved is talented and dedicated to safely making a great movie. Set in Martha’s Vineyard, one kid from a group of four best friends disappears so the remaining three set out to solve the mystery. We have an amazing Covid team working hard to keep us all safe. It can be stressful going through extra Covid steps during filming but definitely worth it!
VT: For someone so young (14), you have done quite a bit: from theater, VoiceOver, commercials, and tv/films. What's your personal favorite and if you could share word of wisdom for any kid who wants to do what you do, what would you tell them?
JL: I love all of it! Every lesson, every rehearsal, and every performance, whether they go good or bad, provides an opportunity to learn something new and become better both at the craft and as a human being. Try not to worry about being the best, but rather the best that you can be.