JJ: Can you tell us about your upcoming project Bates Motel?
MT: Yeah, Bates Motel is a new TV show for A&E with Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore. It’s pretty cool because it’s a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It should be full of madness and crazy stuff! It’s all next level stuff I think.
JJ: That sounds amazingly terrifying! Can you tell us about your character on the show?
MT: I play Dylan Bates who is the oldest son and the older brother to Norman (Highmore).
JJ: What drew you to the script?
MT: I’m a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and so I was a fan before I even read the script. Then I read the material and it was awesome. The team behind it all is fantastic and very talented. The whole thing just sparked my interest!
JJ: Are you excited about being part of a scary series?
MT: Yeah! We haven’t started shooting yet, but my other horror project House at the End of the Street comes out today! I’ve just happened to be doing stuff in this genre recently (laughs).
JJ: What’s the best part about working on the set of a horror movie or TV show?
MT: It’s fun because you get to play all sorts of different people with different personalities and crazy characteristics. You know, it’s something different and fun to do! You get to experience a little bit of everything – some real human emotions.
JJ: Do you remember what the first scary movie you ever saw was?
MT: The first scary movie I saw was maybe The Exorcist, which is terrifying when you’re a young age. It’s one of those films that definitely resonates after you watch it.
JJ: Seeing how Halloween is right around the corner, have you picked out a costume yet?
MT: Oh gosh (laughs). No, not yet. I had a couple ideas…but it’s been kind of tough. I thought about being Kenny Powers from East Bound and Down.
JJ: You’re also in the upcoming movie Yellow with Riley Keough. What’s that about?
MT: It’s a crazy mind-bending, tripper movie. Nick Cassavetes is one of the premiere directors in my opinion, and very, very talented. So fans can expect his style along with some crazy stuff in there.
JJ: Can you tell us about the character you play, Nowell?
MT: Yeah, he’s a character I’ve never played before. Brendan Sexton and I play the same character. He plays the older version and I’m him at a younger age. Nowell grows up in Oklahoma and has a family that is full of crazy problems. He’s also a character who strange enough is in love with his sister. He’s a bad boy for sure.
JJ: Did you have a favorite scene to shoot?
MT: Honestly, there were so many awesome like crazy stunts that the movie for me was just an awesome experience for me as a while. I can’t really pick out one moment (laughs). It was a trip.
JJ: When you aren’t busy working, what would you say are some of your guilty pleasures?
MT: Over the past couple years I’ve become obsessed with working out. I’m also a crazy psycho 49ers fan and just started my own winery.
Filed Under: House at the End of the Street, Interviews
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What was it like playing Ryan first of all, because he’s a bit complicated?
Yeah, luckily I had a director like Mark Tonderai to guide me through it and we worked a lot prior to filming in coming up with the character, coming up with his back story and that helps a lot so it was interesting, he had to be constantly in my mind and in the mind set of someone like that and I did a lot of research on different people which people will probably see in the film. It was fun.
Ryan has a dark secret. Can you let us in on a secret?
Ummmm… Not totally. Ryan lives in the house where his parents were murdered and throughout the film all of that unfolds and so does this relationship between my character and Jennifer Lawrence’s character and the mystery behind the house and my parent’s death and the relationship between her and I all unfolds and it gets a little crazy.
When was the last time you were really scared?
Oh gosh. Yeah, I was on a backpacking trip with some buddies and I got stuck on the side of this cliff and thought I was going to fall backwards, didn’t have any rope and my friends had to throw a rope down to me, I had a 400ft drop behind me and I don’t like heights so that was kind of scary. I thought that was it. I thought my time was up.
There’s a bit of teenage rebellion in the film, what’s the most rebellious thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve done way too many rebellious things as a teenager, the list is practically endless. I was a troubled child growing up so my parents ended up sending me to private school to straighten me out. But I got into just a lot of mischief. Especially, I was a punk little kid and anything we could do, to do something that was bad, we would do. Drive nails through 2×4’s and lay them in the road so cars ran over it, in elementary school we used to sit up in the playground and there was an apple tree and we’d throw whole apples at cars as they drove by. I got my first tattoo when I was 15, a star on my back. I still have it, it’s there
Filed Under: House at the End of the Street, Interviews, Video
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Poolhall Hijinx with the Young Star
Max Thieriot is arranging the balls on a pool table inside a billiards hall above a nail salon in a Koreatown strip mall. We’re the only ones in the joint, and the Korean gentleman who has us marked down for an hour decides to turn up the volume as a Foo Fighters song comes on the radio. Thieriot’s making sure that stripes and solids alternate but his mind is off at the racetrack.
“I race the Baja. There’s three Baja races; the Baja 500, the Baja 1000… It’s pretty full on. There’s a lot of people who spend a lot of money and there are lots of big teams with big sponsors. I drive my dad’s racecar,” says Thieriot as he breaks, sinking a stripe. One after the other, stripes drop into the pockets. We’re here to talk about the actor’s upcoming film releases, but he’d rather talk about cars. “I bought an old Chevelle and sat in the garage everyday and built the motor. I had a buddy who used to build hot rods, so whenever I got stuck, I would just call him,” says Thieriot.
My solids dominate the table, and Thieriot is measuring the distance from the eightball with the cue. Perhaps I’m not as good at pool as I thought I was, high on ketamine, in Berlin.
“Should I re-rack them?” he asks, as he finishes me off.
Thieriot is back in Los Angeles after attending the Palm Springs Film Festival where his film, Foreverland, in which he plays a boy with cystic fibrosis on a trip to Mexico, is showing. And he’s wiping the table with me. His hand-eye coordination is masterful.
“When I was really young, I wanted to play baseball,” Thieriot says. “I had one really good year so I moved up with the really big kids. I was eleven playing with 14 year olds. Then a kid got hit in the face, he broke his jaw- he broke his nose, he broke his cheekbone, and shattered like, everything, and it was really terrible. I came up to bat next and I got hit in the arm. After that I just couldn’t hit the ball.”
Thieriot’s resilience has increased considerably since he was 11. His star turn in Disconnect (currently in post-production) has Thieriot in the role of a webcam stripper opposite Andrea Riseborough, a part that takes significant guts for a young actor to pull off. Says Thieriot, “It’s one of those roles where I was like, I have to go all out on this because if I half-ass it, it’s going to look cheesy and stupid. My character falls in love with her and she [Riseborough’s character] falls in love with him, but he’s a minor and she’s in her late-20s, so it gets crazy.”
And that’s not the only role that sees Thieriot romantically entangled. In The House at the End of the Street, due this fall, Thieriot plays the brother of a girl who kills their parents, who falls for the girl next door, played by Jennifer Lawrence.
Thieriot as a lover isn’t too much of a stretch given his recent engagement to his girlfriend of seven years. He proposed on a two-week vacation in the Caribbean, where they first met on holiday with their respective families. “I think she expected it was coming. Then, she ended up thinking it wasn’t going to happen because I waited a whole week [on the vacation] before I asked.” When her friend let it slip to Thieriot that his girlfriend had lost hope, he knew when he finally got down on his knee, it was going to be a surprise.
Thieriot kindly spots me a two-shot lead in our next game, but still I find myself with nowhere to strike without hitting the eightball. “I set you up poorly,” Thieriot says cheekily. His blonde hair, toned torso, Wrangler jeans, navy Billabong tee, and baby stubble, which he refers to as a “beard,” makes him look as if he’s the sweet-faced boy on the surfboard next to you. “I have surfboards scattered all over. I have four boards here [in Los Angeles], because it’s pretty warm; the waves are gentle, nice, and friendly. I’ve got three boards up north [in Sonoma County, where he lives], and three boards in Mexico.”
He does talk about acting. But even then, he ties a sports metaphor to his profession: You’re on a team with a goal in mind to reach the finish line. Maybe he hasn’t strayed too far from his childhood dreams of hitting a home run over the fences of Candlestick Park after all, and with that he feather shots the eightball into the cup with a gentle touch.
Max is featured in Details Magazine March 2012 issue as “Four of 2012′s Hottest Young Actors.” Below is an interview and pick up your copy for more!
YOU’VE SEEN HIM … As Raúl Esparza’s mentally unstable son in Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take; as a (lucky?) pawn in Amanda Seyfried’s sex games in Chloe.
UP NEXT: Playing the sole survivor of a family murder in House at the End of the Street, opposite Jennifer Lawrence; Nick Cassavetes’ Yellow.
ABOUT THAT NAME: “Sometimes I drop the first ‘I’ and it’s ‘The Riot.’ Pretty much, you can make up whatever you want. That’s the beauty of having a French last name when you don’t speak French.”
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: “A lot of movies, you know what’s going to happen. Like romantic comedies: ‘Oh, they’re gonna get into the fight, then he’s gonna leave … cue sad music.’ I’d be that guy—kissing in the rain—just as long as I’m Ryan Gosling in The Notebook and Nick Cassavetes is directing.”