Samantha Logan is an American actress, with a background in singing, dancing, and theatre performance. Having started acting at the age of 14, she is today an accomplished actor with major roles in productions such as 13 Reasons Why and All American. Samantha approaches her work with diligent research, a sense of responsibility, and consideration for the larger implications the entertainment industry has on society today. She aspires to be a director, certain that her love for creative work and telling stories in front of the camera will lead her to equally exciting work behind it.
Elena Stanciu: At a young age, you are already a very accomplished person – what are you most proud of?
Samantha Logan: For me it's more a matter of what I'm most grateful for, and that's A LOT of things: the training I've received (shout-out to Anthony Abeson aka A$); the people I've been able to work with; my mom who has supported me in pursuing my dream, and of course all the opportunities I've been afforded. This business can be really hard and the one thing that I am most proud of is how I can pick myself back up, trust that the universe is always looking out for me and keep fighting.
ES: What´s your favourite and least favourite thing about being in the spotlight?
SL: I'm a very shy and private person, so I don't enjoy being in the spotlight but at the same time it helps me connect with my supporters and it provides a platform to be of greater service, taking the spotlight off of me and shining it on other important issues.
ES: You’re most known for your acting, but you’re also an accomplished dancer and singer. How do you balance everything?
SL: I started off as a dancer and that led me to acting. When I started training professionally I became a musical theatre major, which then led me to singing. Now being me, I don't balance things very well, so I focus on pursuing acting full-time, but I still dance and sing recreationally.
ES: Your recent role in the acclaimed drama series 13 Reasons Why carried a lot of weight in the narrative of the season. How did it impact you? Was there anything in particular you loved or hated about playing Nina?
SL: I only ever felt love while playing Nina. However, it was a very heavy role and it definitely took its toll on me. It helped me become aware of what sexual assault victims go through and my hope is that, by seeing Nina on screen, it has helped them know their worth, that they're not alone and that there's help for them.
ES: 13 Reasons Why is a defining story of our time in how it depicts trauma, community, and the complicated process of healing. How did you engage with these themes while working on the show?
SL: I felt this responsibility to ensure that my portrayal of her was accurate. I did my research and learned about rape culture, especially in the black community where these crimes go under-reported because the victims are often not believed or don't trust the system. I wanted to make sure that I always knew where Nina was coming from and that her voice was heard loud and clear.
ES: The show does indeed place quite a lot of responsibility on young people to engage with very serious issues and fight for change for the next generations. Do you feel the same responsibility and are you inspired to support these causes focusing on change?
SL: Definitely! "Be the change that you want to see in the world." I want my and future generations to understand that they are empowered to make change. Whether it's in gun control, women's rights, future leaders, or even in local communities. Help in whatever way you can!
ES: How do you see the role of media and entertainment in addressing issues such as bullying, gun violence, or sexual abuse?
SL: I think media and entertainment both have an opportunity and huge responsibility to bring these issues to light. There's still work to be done, but these industries have made significant progress over the years reflecting the cultural and societal issues, and we need more of that today than ever!
ES: These past couple of years have been critical for women both in the film industry and performing arts – what´s your take on this, given that you´re active in both fields?
SL: GIRL POWER! I'm so excited to see so many women now in producing, directing, writing, leading roles and so on. This is how the playing field will be levelled. I'm lucky to benefit from the women who came before me and who continue to fight for equality. Now, it's time for some more diversity too.
ES: You are active with several charities – what draws you to social activism?
SL: I was raised to give back and have carried that with me my whole life. I still love to volunteer in ways I know I can be impactful, because every little bit counts. Whether it's handing out sandwiches in my neighbourhood or travelling overseas to help teach, I get so much joy and hopefully I help make a difference. After all, we only have each other in this world, so be kind and don't forget to show love.
ES: One of your ambitions is to become a director – what fuels this dream?
SL: Growing up from a young age I was so in love with movies and entertainment. I would put together little skits in my playroom and steal my mom’s camcorder to make little movies or cut scenes with my friends for fun. It makes me smile because, honestly, those were some of the best times. I just purely LOVED creating; so much, that it distracted me from my actual studies. But it led me to where I am today and hopefully I'll get the opportunity sometime soon to get behind the camera again. I trust that it'll happen when it's supposed to.
ES: You are currently working on a new series, All American, which premiered this October. What can you tell us about the show and your role?
SL: Yes! The show is inspired by the life of NFL player Spencer Paysinger, who was a rising football star from Crenshaw recruited to play for Beverly Hills High. I play Olivia Baker, Spencer's first friend at his new school. She's a very complex girl trying to find her way back after spending time in rehab for substance abuse. This show is so important, because it tackles hard subjects that should be brought to light (sexuality, race, socio-economic status, etc). I'm still reeling over this whole experience. I'm so proud of this project, what it stands for and everyone who is involved. I can't wait for everyone to see it!