Last month Logan Paul appeared on Russell Brand’s Under the Skin Podcast. It was a really interesting interview which showed a side of Logan Paul we don’t normally see. In it Logan Paul is very vulnerable and opens up about his journey, from the moments leading up to his Japan suicide forrest controversy right up to now. Below are some key highlights and moments from the podcast with time stamps included. So let’s get into it!
3:00 – He prides himself on being a nerd.
Straight off the bat Logan admits something that may surprise you – he classes himself as a nerd who enjoyed studying hard. Indeed Logan Paul was not set on being an online star from a young age. In fact, for most of his teens he thought he’d end up being an industrial and systems engineer. “I thought I’d end up being an engineer inventing products and revolutionising systems in factories” he added.
It just goes to show how you never how life will turn out and the importance of taking opportunities when you see them. Logan could’ve easily settled for the life of being an engineer, a respectable a career but not what he really wanted to do. Instead he saw an opportunity to become a YouTube star and gave it everything. He admits he didn’t really know what he was doing; “I’ve never had a mentor…this weird path that myself as well as a bunch of other influencers or creators, whatever you want to call them, it had never been done before. We were trailblazers in many ways”.
5:00 – initially he came to Hollywood wanting to be an actor
When Logan Paul first came to Hollywood he wanted to be an aspiring actor:
“When I came to Hollywood I initially wanted to be an actor but then you get on set. You have absolutely no control. It’s hurry up and wait. The creativity is no longer from [the heart]…With the stuff I do I became addicted to producing the stuff I wanted whenever I wanted, that is an undeniable thing that I was attracted to with social media and that’s why I stayed it with it.
7:50 – He cringes at a lot of his videos from 4 or 5 years ago
This is the first glimpse we see during the hour long interview of how Logan views his early content. Clearly, Logan looks back at some of the content he used to create and doesn’t like what he sees.
“When you go back 4 or 5 years ago a lot of it is cringe, it’s high energy and fun but it’s just like this cringe weird version of myself…I wasn’t born with an innate talent, I had to learn and forge my way to become a likeable guy.”
It also highlights how even a successful creator like Logan didn’t feel like he necessarily got it right first time. His content evolved as he evolved, it’s the same for every creator regardless of the kind of content you create.
10:00 – ‘social media was making me somebody I wasn’t’
It’s at this point that we see Logan really start to do some serious self-reflection and introspection in regards to how things escalated like they did, eventually leading to his Japan suicide forrest video. Here Logan doesn’t try to make excuses, he owns up to messing up with his Japan video and it’s refreshing to see. Check out what he had to say:
“I was not focused on the impact of my content so much as just producing the next piece of crazy content I could. I legitimately did not think about the impact and just didn’t really care and I think that was part of the Tokyo Problem…It took [the Tokyo Problem] for me to realise that what I was doing was so f****** wrong, in that social media was creating a person that wasn’t me. My only motivator was views. I wanted views. Because views created money and views created subscribers which equated to success…That kid that was on Vine, Logan, was now becoming this influencer that only cared about making as much noise as he could.”
This taps into the issue of social media – that can drive people to chase views, likes, interactions etc. Logan found himself getting so obsessed with the numbers of views (because as he said views=money) that he forgot that each view represented an actual person. Because he just saw views as numbers he didn’t care about the impact of what he was doing. Views gave him money and money gave him what he wanted. Views became this massive thing that he needed. He just saw numbers and in those numbers he saw dollars.
11:35 – Some advice for aspiring influencers
“I would caution anyone listening to this…I got in a cycle where my actions, everyday, were reinforced by views. I knew that the crazier, more inappropriate thing I did would get views. In my mind this was a good thing and I started chasing that…Everything I did was supported by an audience and in my mind that meant success when in reality that’s not the case.”
17:35 – talks about the lead up to the ‘Tokyo problem’.
The ‘Tokyo problem’ as Logan Paul aptly put it, was a very important moment for him and it’s something that you understand more and more as the interview goes on. For those that don’t know the ‘Tokyo problem’ refers to his ‘suicide forrest’ video which he posted in January 2018. In the video, which was taken down shortly after it was posted, he visits the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji, known to be a frequent site of suicides. Whilst in the forrest Logan finds an apparent suicide victim’s body and proceeds to not only film it but also make jokes. The video caused international outrage and condemnation with calls for Logan to be banned from creating content on YouTube.
On the build up to the ‘Tokyo problem’ Logan had this to say:
“You could totally see the build up. Like I said, everything I did, even bad behaviour, was reenforced by people that wanted to see it. Whether they liked it or hated it people would watch and comment…[Before Japan] My brother and I jumped in the river [when visiting] Venice. It was disrepectul, like ignoring the culture, someone started shouting in Italian saying something like no you can’t do that and i was like yeah okay great and then I jumped off in my boxers in the middle of Venice…even a couple of days before Japan we were running around dressed up in pokemon costumes throwing pokeballs at people. Just a complete and utter disrespect of both people and specifically the culture, at the time, I don’t know how that didn’t cross my mind…I look back at those videos and think it’s very clear to see the very negative side of me…that social media had…helped forged.”
26:20 – Logan discusses the ‘extreme internal shift’ he had after the Tokyo problem.
“I still feel the repercussions [of Japan] but now it’s mainly internally…there was an extreme, extreme internal shift about who I was becoming. I was at a fork in the road in my life and I went up the wrong road for a long long time. Then Japan happened and I literally had to press the rewind button to go back to a spot in my life where I was like right, I think I know who I am. I was 22 years old and I was like let’s try this again. Let’s do everything I possibly can to change who I am, that’s when I went vegan for 4 months, I got a girlfriend, I settled down, I took up boxing. I set up a routine, a regime for myself so that I could find myself again and I believe I did. I’m still on this journey but it lead to an extreme shift in me.
‘[Japan] was the first time I was denounced by everyone on the planet. It was horrible. It was the worst moment in my life…I stepped back from the content but because the more I was changing the more I realised this character i was creating of Logan Paul Vlogs just wasn’t me. We have footage of me on camera becoming frustrated with having to fake this energy…It put me into a mild depression. I’m blessed to say I don’t suffer from clinical depression but I was very sad for a very long time and I tried to ignore it but I couldn’t. It was the worst part of my life and it forever will be. But it did lead to an extreme shift that I”m very happy with.
31:18 – Logan suggests he may be addicted to sex, Russell seems skeptical.
In a bit of bombshell, Logan Paul drops the bombshell that he may be a sex addict. Russell asks him if he has had any issues with alcohol, drugs or sex and Logan says this:
“The answer is no. I love to party but I go on and off. When I’m training for fights I go 3 or 4 months sober and then after the fight we rave hard as f***…minus one thing, sex dude, sex. I would argue I’m not addicted but is denial the first step? I don’t f***** know.
32:38 – Is Logan ready to be a father?
In potentially an even bigger bombshell Logan says this just before the 33 minute mark: “I just like…I did it all, I did all of it. I’m ready, ready to have a baby”.
Last month it was reported that he is dating Josie Canseco, a model and internet personality who first found fame when her pictures of her at Coachella went viral. Is she also the (maybe not so distant) future mother of Logan Paul’s baby? Who knows.
37:00 – Logan opens up about childhood trauma.
After some deeper discussions about addiction Logan then talks about an area that he’s rarely discussed; his childhood:
“The more I evolve and mature the more I realise, truly, how much my childhood, and especially the trauma, has shaped who I am. Every single person is shaped drastically by chilldhood trauma…When I was young, my parents went through a very nasty divorce and I lead with comedy, I don’t take myself too seriously, so I’d always joke about it…My dad had multiple girlfriends and at one point one of his girlfriends and her family moved in with us and I didn’t realise how much that shaped who I am today…There were also points where maybe my parents were a little too aggressive with me because their parents were aggressive with them. I think the biggest thing that it affected was my vulnerability and empathy, specifically from my dad’s side…I never felt safe being vulnerable.
“I think we’re in a weird shift of culture right now where people are praising the ability to feel, as they should by the way. And I”m learning that coming out here and still learning it. I think my last girlfriend really helped me understand the power of being empathetic and caring and leading with kindness. I can’t say that was a forethought of mine coming into Hollywood.”
40:20 – ‘I hope to be a beacon to people..if I can be a model in any way that would be great.’
Logan now hopes he can use his platform more responsibly and lead by example:
“One thing I am very thankful for about my platform and my come-up and my ups and downs is that I hope that I can be a beacon for people to look and base some of their heavy heavy important decisions on the way I’ve moved in life good or bad…If I can, in any way, influence people to live their life in a way that they truly believe is right I’m blessed and thankful for that opportunity in the social space”.
41:50 – Logan talks about how the boxing came about.
“When I was at this really low point in my life I had the opportunity to become a fighter…[The first fight with KSI] was insane, the scope of the event was mind boggling. I couldn’t understand why people were so fascinated by it…there was a point in my life when I wanted to be an MMA fighter but I decided to study instead.”
Logan talks about a moment he experienced recently at the Staple Centre in Los Angeles where he took on KSI in their rematch in-front of a sell-out crowd:
“I was recently at the staple centre and realised ‘I just fought right there. It was the most trippy experience of my life. I truly believe I’m just a kid from Ohio who happened to like making videos at a time when people happened to like watching them. My life in many ways, speaking from the last fight, became a movie. For the first time in my life I felt like I didn’t have any control over what was happening. It was out of body experience.”
47:05 – Logan touches on the loss to KSI in their boxing rematch
“I lost. So we’re standing there, my hand isn’t raised. I lost. For about 10 seconds I felt really sad and then I was fine. I took a very heavy loss, although controversial, but it didn’t feel like I had lost. The conclusion I reached is I have become so comfortable with losing. Ever since Japan, I, in many ways, am completely unaffected by losing. I know I’ll be fine because I’ve bounced back from a real loss.”
Seemingly Logan really isn’t bothered about losing but deep down I think it still hurt. This was evident in his recent interview where he met KSI for the first time since the fight.
52:50 – Logan says he’s still on the journey of self-discovery and self-improvement but for now he’s genuinely content
“I always try to provide value for the listener and don’t get too removed from real life. I don’t know if I’m at the point where I can 100% trust myself but I’d like to think I’m close. That’s why I have people around me so that I can help weigh my decisions and make the right moves…The moment I put down the camera from daily vlogging the more I have calmed down. I’m very happy and content.”
So there you have it. Has he changed? It’s hard to say but there’s not doubt he’s clearly done a lot of introspection since the ‘Tokyo problem’. He’s clearly on a path but where exactly it leads only time will tell. All I can say is that Logan Paul, I wish you well.