On Wednesday Logan brought Pieri and their 18-year-old daughter, Sofie, a senior at Stillwater High School, to the premiere at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
“I got to meet everybody, but with all the cameras, it was like trying to talk in the middle of a flashing minefield,” he said.
When Logan watched the movie for the first time a couple of weeks ago at a screening at Rosedale, he asked young adults in the audience for feedback.
“They called it a more thoughtful action film compared with, say, ‘The Expendables,’ ” he said.
He praised the film’s tautness, production values and particularly the father-daughter relationship. (For this role, Statham had to exercise the only muscles he never has before onscreen — those that create facial expressions.) “Their chemistry was real, which gives the movie heart,” Logan said, adding that Stallone’s script retained a few real-life-inspired details from his book that are dear to him.
“Those monkey bars she’s playing on in the beginning, those were from Sofie’s school,” he said. Sofie also still has a toy bunny that inspired one in the story, and “she’s taking it to the premiere on the off-chance she can get a picture with someone in the cast.”
Logan said he “doesn’t want to be a shill” for the movie. That said, “it raised me from the dead, which means I’m wildly enthusiastic about it.”
Hoping for a book boost
The timing couldn’t have been better for Logan, whose books have been relatively popular but never bestsellers. Logan says his books have gotten lost “in the limbo zone between commercial and literary.” He’s been told he does too much character development for the genre, and that Broker is not tough enough.
“I had a guy get up once at a book signing who got mad because Broker had never shot anybody,” said Logan, whose hero is also a Vietnam vet. “I said, people who have violent fantasies should not argue with people who have violent memories.”
Now his publisher is re-releasing “Homefront” with the movie’s stars on the cover, and Logan himself is issuing a new suspense e-book, “Fallen Angel,” about a female war veteran whose memory loss prevents her from knowing why someone wants to kill her.
Logan hopes that Statham (and Stallone) will consider making more Broker movies: “He experimented with a more dramatic role in ‘Redemption,’ ” a summer Statham flick that bypassed the big screen and went straight to home video. “As Broker, he can take a step back, play a dad.”
Mindful of Hollywood’s youth obsession and the fact that in the last book, “Broker is about ready for Medicare,” Logan is working on a pitch for a prequel, a story in which Broker is not yet married.
He’s also always on the lookout for more impossibly tense scenarios in which to embroil his characters. When Logan was in Mississippi doing research on his Civil War book “South of Shiloh,” he heard a story about a part-time sheriff’s deputy whose wife, also a deputy, stepped out with another deputy.
“So then the guy starts seeing the wife of yet another deputy. One day someone at the shooting range makes a big scheduling mistake, and they all show up at the same time to take their qualifying tests. The guy told me you could hear the sweat splash on the ground. I’m thinking of using it.”
Logan and his pal Sandford take friendly jabs at each other in their books. For example, Sandford has given the name “Logan” to outhouse cleaners and woodpeckers.
Asked what, in this vein, he’d like to say to Sandford now, Logan quipped: “You’ve always been my role model and I’ve tried to emulate you in all things, but I’ve never had a TV movie made from my work like you have. Guess I’ll have to make do with this $70 million Hollywood movie instead.”