411mania Interviews: Max Ehrich
Up until now you’d probably know 19 year old Max Ehrich from his role in High School Musical 3 or a recurring role during the last season of Ugly Betty but all of that is about to change; over the next several months he will guest on No Ordinary Family and Disney’s Shake It Up while beginning recurring roles on iCarly, Parenthood, and the new CW sitcom Working Class.
Al Norton: I’ve interviewed a lot of folks over the years but no one who has had as many different projects going on as you do over the next few months.
Max Ehrich: Thank you. Yes, it’s awesome because it’s such a wide range. It’s crazy to go from multi-camera sitcoms to a single camera comedy to a one hour drama, all in the same few months, it’s a great challenge to myself as an actor.
Al Norton: Was it at all hard to keep the parts straight while you were reading for them?
Max Ehrich: I’m kind of used to it. I’m used to working on projects and going in and reading for other things. You have to focus on what’s going on that day, that minute, and put your mind fully there. It could be a bit confusing to be doing a Nickelodeon show and then going in for an NBC show. It’s totally different genres and different styles of acting. Both are quality but are very different and unique.
Al Norton: And if the acting weren’t enough, you’re going to be dancing on one of the shows (Shake It Up), too.
Max Ehrich: I grew up in the theater world, acting, singing, and dancing. I didn’t know I was going to be dancing on Shake It Up until I got there, so that was a pleasant surprise. And the way it was cast, they didn’t know I could dance; it had nothing to do with how they cast the role. When I got there the choreographer was like, “well, we’ll see what you can do”, thinking I was going to fall on my face. And then they were like, “holy shit, you can dance.”
Al Norton: Not that actors ever turn down good parts but is part of the reason you’re taking all these jobs that you never know when a streak like this is going to come along again?
Max Ehrich: Actually, it’s been more recent that I’ve had to pick and choose. I didn’t realize that I was at that point. As an artist, that’s a very amazing place to be and I feel so lucky to have such a great team behind me, not pushing me to take parts for money but to choose them for creative purposes. It’s very cool that I am able to do that because it’s such an empowering thing. All these roles are very, very different so none of them were work to me, they were all learning experiences.
Al Norton: How much did you life change after High School Musical 3?
Max Ehrich: A lot (laughing). Before High School Musical 3, I didn’t even think film was something accessible to me. I thought I would end up doing plays on Broadway. The movie introduced me to the camera and it’s so different from acting on stage. It’s addicting and I love it. It’s the only thing I am addicted to. Well, working out and acting. And Nuero Water.
High School musical changed my life in many ways. Getting to work with all of them, they are all so talented. And they were all 21 and I was the only one under 18 and they all put me under their wing. I couldn’t have asked for a better five months of my life. That was my college.
Al Norton: Did you know when you took the part on iCarly that you’d be working with Jack Black (who guests on tonight’s episode)?
Max Ehrich: No, no idea. I didn’t find out until the table read. They said, “ok, we’ve got a special guest star”, and I couldn’t believe it was him. He’s a comedy genius. He’s really funny on the episode.
Al Norton: Did you get to work with any of the special effects on No Ordinary Family?
Max Ehrich: No, not really. I went into the studio to do some work last week and saw the special effects they were using for the show and they were awesome. They have so many stunt coordinators on that show because they do some crazy cool stuff. I can’t wait to do a show where I get to fly or something like that.
Al Norton: Some actors go their whole careers without working with co-stars the quality level that you have on Parenthood.
Max Ehrich: I love the show and am so happy to be on it. The fact that my storyline gets me scenes with Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman makes me so happy.
Al Norton: You may be too young to fully appreciate how much of TV royalty Ed Asner (one of the stars of Working Class) is.
Max Ehrich: I know him from Up, and that movie was beyond inspiring. I cried in the first 10 minutes of it.
Al Norton: As did anyone with a heart.
Max Ehrich: Exactly (laughing). I got to see him work and he’s amazing.
Al Norton: And on top of all of this, you’re doing a horror movie with Kane Hodder?
Max Ehrich: Yes, I’ve signed on to do a horror movie with Kane Hodder, and supposedly Brandy Cyrus, too. Kane Hodder is attached to the horror film. They’re still getting their budget together but it’s a crazy script. Kane Hodder is very scary and I’m not sure I’ll be able to look him in the eye (laughing).
Al Norton: You’re doing tons of shows already but if it were up to you, and you could pick any show on TV to guest on, what would it be?
Max Ehrich: Weeds. I love Mary Louise Parker. I would love to do a guest spot with her. She’s a fantastic actress.
Al Norton: I was so expecting you to say Glee.
Max Ehrich: Glee, sure, that would be fun, but not my first choice. Weed. Modern Family would be great. Any show on Showtime or HBO. I’d love to do something with Edie Falco on Nurse Jackie.
Don’t miss iCarly, tonight at 8 on Nickelodeon, and keep your eyes out for Max on No Ordinary Family, Parenthood, Shake It Up, and Working Class in the new year.