Max Turner is an English actor of film and stage, a writer & director who is currently working in New York. At the moment he juggles his Acting work with Kaleidocircle Productions, a production he helped create.
Max was born in Chichester, UK and he was introduced to the world of acting at an early age at his school Bedales. He starred in many plays that were open to the public; his favourite being ‘ Noises Off’ where he played the manic director. During this time at Bedales, Max was gifted the opportunity to take part in a devised project, meaning that the production was written, directed and acted by the students. From then on Max knew where his future lay, and gained an ability to see the universe of acting in a different way, and was able to break down a film and see it from many different indvidual points. Through the eyes of a director, the DP, the wardrobe, hair and make up departments, and so on. His attitude towards the art allowed him to take part in many more of the school productions and took him to Scotland for the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
From this point on Max was determined to become part of the acting world. He moved to London to pursue his dream, and began taking small classes, working on sets and one on one acting coaching sessions. The hard work paid off and he was accepted into The Royal Central School of Speech and Dramaand was awarded with a1 year Acting Diploma/ Foundation. During this time he also acted with the Livewire Theatre Company performing in Yorkshire, London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival again.
After he graduated at the end of 2014, he moved back to the countryside saving for his next career move. New York. In 2015 Max was gifted with a Scholarship to undertake a year’s Conservatory at the New York Film Academy. During the course, Max acted in over 30 short films. Several of these films have been accepted into film festivals – in New York and France.
Since completing the Conservatory Max has finished four individual short films, two of which he led, that premiered in New York City in January.
Additionally he is a student of the comedy school ‘Upright Citizens Bridgade’ and has taken part in improv shows in the city and is hoping to become an advanced student by the end of the year.
He has also been lucky enough to work closely with Danny Glover & John C McGinley in the ‘Good Catholic’, which was shot in Bloomington, Indiana in February, this year. He gained invaluable experience working in front and behind the camera. John Armstrong , the producer on the film, and Zachary Spicer, the lead and partner producer with John, taught Max and fellow collegues at Kalidocirle Productions. They have become an invaluable support to Max, and the team as a constant source of knowledge, advice and opportunity.
Since the premier of the films Max has been picked up to star in a concept pilot for a thriller series which will be made particularly for the internet pushing towards such channels as Netflix and/or Hulu. He is also currently wirting his ‘passion project’ that has been floating around his head for the past 3 years. He hopes to shoot in 2017, back in the south of England, in the heart of the Countryside.
He is currently working back in London, writing a black comedy feature. With a project from the states making its way onto IndieFlix, a sister company to Netfilx, he’s continued to keep him self busy studying at the famous AMAW acting school and working with Virgin Atlantic. He’s was also cast in a short film late in 2017 that saw him working with acclaimed music director Andre F.
Chocron. He hopes to finish his script, and produce it himself, with an all British cast set in the South of England, the the film giving light and support to the on going struggle with depression and anxiety.
Exclusive Interview with the multi-talented actor, writer and director Max Turner
London Prestige: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
Max Turner: I was born in Chichester, a city near the coast, home to the famous Chichester Festival Theatre. Growing up I always enjoyed being the centre of attention around my friends and my family. But I never really knew that this love of expression would gravitate towards theatre and film. In my younger years I really just had a love of making people smile and laugh uncontrollably. I loved telling stories, and still do and when I moved to Bedales School, Hampshire, I really found a home within my drama classes and of course the famous Olivier Theatre. This then became my passion, the energy of being on stage, keeping audiences engages and gripped. I knew I was hooked, and at the end of the day, it was the only thing I was really good at.
London Prestige: What are you currently working on?
Max Turner: Nothing currently, in terms of acting gigs, but I did finish a interesting short late last year. A film with fantastic dialogue and cast. I was all taken in one shot. With a Groundhog day feel. A repetition that heightened the over emotion of the character and of course the direction of the film. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it. Also in my down time, I’m writing.
London Prestige: What made you take this role?
Max Turner: To be honest, I was just happy to get the role, its a struggle being an actor, and I needed and wanted some work. But staying that, the script was incredible. Even before my audition, I was pacing through the script trying to get an understanding for it. And I was gripped almost immediately.
London Prestige: What journey does your character go on in the course of the monologues?
Max Turner: Lots of them. It depends. Depending on the genre and my character. I start with my script work, analysing it and studying the lines. Then I make my decisions. But for me the best thing, is the spontaneity of the script and to let your body take over. You really can find the best results. Thats one of the best things Ive been taught, and its really what AWAW focuses on. Rehearsing a scene with a partner with little knowledge of the scene and letting your true emotions flourish.
London Prestige: Tell us a little bit more about this film, what is it about, who else are you working with, and who is the director?
Max Turner: It was story focusing on characters and how they connect to each other, which was extremely evident in the camera work, sweeping around and introducing the audience to each character. But the plot focused on two friends who were exploring at the theme and idea of time travel. In which the ideas the discuss began to come true in the same night.
I had the pleasure of working with a lovely cast, and a great director which I mentioned earlier. The the cast was extremely energetic and friendly from the first day of rehearsals, many of them with impressive careers working with impressive companies such as the BBC.
London Prestige: What is the most challenging role you have played and why?
Max Turner: Block – which was shot in NYC. I played a writer struggling with addiction, depression and a serious writing block. It was very personal and I could find many mirroring aspects with my character and myself. Many of the scenes where shot in a group therapy session. Working with the talent that was in that room made the scenes incredibly real and engrossing. I’d was also very used to acting in comedies, and was nervous for the sudden change to a serious drama. But felt blessed by the director for the opportunity and his trust in me improvising and finding some comedy in the darkness.
London Prestige: And the most fun one?
Max Turner: Bullock the Bruiser – Everthing about it. Actions, comedy, the writing and the directors vision. Shot in NYC also, the director really wanted to create Guy Richie esq project, so the typical english humour shone through. It was my first film with stunt stand ins, and a serious budget so I felt the pressure. But the outcome was phenomenal, findings it way to many film festivals, and onto IndieFlix. It also has some good reviews to its name.
London Prestige: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
Max Turner: Moving to NYC at 19 I would say. Opened many doors into the world I know find my self in.
London Prestige: What training / education do you have? How has your training prepared you for you acting career?
Max Turner: I studied at Central School of Speech and Drama, then gained a Scholarship to NYC. UCB Improv school and AMAW also. They, I suppose, perfective the craft. Giving me the techniques that I still use know. Ive gained many lessons and much support from teachers from and friends that Ive met along the way in these schools. I feel these places and people shaped who I am today.
London Prestige: Is there any academy or professional in the field that you enjoyed working with that you would like to recommend in your city?
Max Turner: AMAW. They teach something that is so different, but something important and relevant for actors. They teach to solely be in the work and to leave all your insecurities behind. It was hard with me to learn this, and I still am.
London Prestige: Who is your favorite director to work with and why?
Max Turner: Marcelo Mayen. Director of Bullock the Bruiser. Worked with him many times. His vision and persistence is inspiring. He encourages the actors to improvise and to speak their minds. He’s also willing to listen and give his support. Looking forward to working with him again.
London Prestige: Have you ever considered branching out into directing or screenwriting?
Max Turner: I set up a production company in NYC with some friends called, Kaleidocirle Productions. We wrote and produced many shorts. I also love the whole aspect of the industry and want to experience it all, leading me to be a PA, scenic designer, and director. But I do really enjoy writing, I just need to do more!
London Prestige: Where have you played a lead role? What was the character about?
Max Turner: Quite a few times, but one that stands out is ‘Fish Tank’, a short I filmed in NYC . The character I played was an office worker that was stuck in a repetitive everyday life the was slowly making him mentally collapse. Until he meets a women who completely changes his perspective on life. She buys him a gold fish, which becomes his burden. It was a very dialogue light film, with amazing cinematography. It was extremely symbolic with the fish and the women almost giving this man, my character a new lease on life. Amazing to see who something so small can mean so much.
London Prestige: Do you have any theatrical experience? What plays have you performed?
Max Turner: I started in theatre, at school and continued on to joining theatre company and performing in London and in Edinburgh. We did everything some Shakespeare to Dickens, Dennis Kelly to Simon Stevens. I worked as a performer in Yorkshire and Fringe Festival, with LiveWire Theatre Company and had some of the best time of my life. I was always very lucky at school and later in Drama School and NYC as there was always something going on. And I just love to get stuck in.
London Prestige: If you weren’t acting what would you be doing?
Max Turner: Hard question. My dad was a tailor and shop owner. It always fascinated me. Ive always been creative so maybe selling suits from Italy would be a good idea. Saying that I have always loved food. Becoming a top chef, would be amazing. Something to do with music also. Being a front man to a band heading Glastonbury would be a dream, but I don’t think I have the pipes for it!
London Prestige: What have you seen lately that’s inspired you?
Max Turner: Three Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri – Breathtaking, gripping, and intense. A serious accomplishment and deserved the Oscars. Sam Rockwell performance was second to none.
London Prestige: What television shows or show would you love most to be on?
Max Turner: True Detective, Game of Thrones, An Agatha Christie BBC drama. Anything that will keep the audience questioning, and keeping their eyes locked on the screen, and them firmly placed on the edge of their seats.
London Prestige: What’s your goal for this year?
Max Turner: Keep working hard. Finish a feature length script, and give my all in any audition and project I find myself in.
London Prestige: What is your advice for aspiring actors?
Max Turner: Never give up. Believe in your self. Trust your actions , and only you know who special you are.