Just so you know, we are all destined to be collectively swooning over Max Thieriot and his darkly good looks. This is a fact. This young actor is going to be the Next Big Thing, caps-intended. Sure, the last few times we have seen him have been particularly spooky, like when he is both wooing and hunting Jennifer Lawrence in House At The End Of The Street or as he plays Norman's less-crazy-but-still-crazy bro on A&E's Bates Motel. Yet, Thieriot is winning over critics in a major way as the intense, tatooed, and disturbingly hot Internet model in this month's Disconnect. (Before you feel too dirty, he is only playing 17, but he's well into his twenties.)
Thieriot has starred alongside Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, and now Marc Jacobs. The latter plays his pimp in the upcoming drama set to hit theaters April 12, and turned to our guy Max for some acting cues in his very first film debut. Fortunately for MJ, he was in good hands...
You are playing a teenager under the tutelage of Marc Jacobs. How was it working with someone who’s so famous, but doesn’t have any experience acting? Did he look to you for cues?
“He looked to Henry [Alex Rubin] and I. Henry was his friend prior. You know, the two of us were on set and he would look to the two of us for advice and whatnot. It was a lot of fun. It was definitely cool to have somebody so iconic in the fashion industry step into our world and try to take part in it. It was a lot of fun.”
Both of you guys play really dark characters. You play someone who has an ambiguous morality. Did you have to research or dig through the underbelly of the Internet to figure out your role?
“Yeah, I met with people who were in the web-scamming business. I did as much research as possible in order to really understand the personality and everything that goes along with being in this industry, so that my portrayal came off as authentic as possible.”
Is it a large industry?
“It is surprisingly — at least, much larger than I thought. There are people all over the world who are doing it. You know, you can do it right from home. You flip open your laptop, turn on your webcam, sign up through sites, and they send you a check every month with the money you’re making. You have high school students, college students in their dorms, parents, all sorts of people.”
Photo: Rob Latour/Rex USA.
“I found it to be really interesting what I uncovered. I think some people don’t have a choice, they kind of get forced. At the same time there are people who just see it as an easy way to make money. For them, they’re so comfortable in their own skin and comfortable with their sexuality that they have no problem doing it because they realize it’s an easy way to make money and not need to further an education; they can sit at home and make a thousand bucks a week being on the computer for two hours. It’s really interesting the different types of characters who are in the business, for the reasons they are in it. Obviously, Kyle is a character that is fairly damaged, grew up on the streets, and came from a broken-down family. He saw this as an opportunity to make money. At the same time he likes what he does. He’s so comfortable with himself that he doesn’t really see a problem doing it. He just hasn’t looked at his future yet.”
You’ve spent a lot of time playing alongside some of the most iconic young actresses today. So, we've got to ask: Is Jennifer Lawrence really that goofy in real life?
“She is really that goofy! Let’s be honest, when I did films with all of those girls none of them were famous at the time. When I did Catch That Kid with Kristen [Stewart] she had only been in Panic Room with Jodi Foster. Nobody knew who she was. When I did House At The End Of The Street with Jen, nobody knew who she was. She had done Winter’s Bone, but that hadn’t even come out yet. But yeah, she is just as goofy as she seems...as long as she’s the same person she was before she had to deal with all the fame.”
You’ve also joined Bates Motel, which just premiered. You’re playing another character in a disturbing family. How is it playing alongside one of the most terrifying families of all time?
“It’s been a blast going from House At The End of The Street to something similar. For me, since I’m not playing Norman Bates, it wasn’t a tough decision. To be honest, even though it’s such an iconic role, it would have been hard since my role in House At The End of The Street has so many similarities. My character in Bates Hotel is so different.”
What makes him different from Norman?
“He’s not psycho. He’s not Norman Bates!”
You have tattoos in Disconnect. Do you have any tattoos in real life?
“I do have some. I have an star on my back…I don’t know if that’s seen. I have a couple that are probably seen. I have one on my shoulder that we covered up with makeup. The main ones you see, like the one on the back of my neck and on my chest and stomach, are fake."
But, how about those abs? Were they fake, too?
Photo: Courtesy of LD Entertainment.