Maxwell James

I’m The Boss | Maxwell James

We had the chance to interview Maxwell James from abc’s The Family! Read all about his journey in acting!

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How did you get started in acting?
I live in New York City, and there are a lot of different performing arts programs for kids. I tried acting classes as an after-school enrichment, and discovered that I really liked it. I’ve been at the same acting school for two years, and will continue in the fall.   
How old were you when you landed your first role?
I had just turned eight. Literally! The day I went to the audition was also my birthday. It was for a part in an independent short film. The audition was in an old school house in Little Italy. I remember looking out of the window onto the street and thinking about my character doing the same thing. I was so happy when we got the call later that afternoon telling us that I got the part. I had a really great time being on set and working with the director and the crew.      
Who inspires you, who is your role model? 
My parents. They give me a lot of support, and cheer me on. I trust them to give me good advice, and they do.  
What role would you love to play? 
I’d really love to play a comedic role. 
Where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now? Still acting or doing something completely different? 
That seems like a long way away! I’ll be going to college and driving! I definitely want to still be acting!
Which has been your favorite character that you have performed? 
My favorite character to play so far has been Young Adam. He’s such a normal kid, but has something completely crazy happen to him that turns his life upside down. I also liked this role so much because it gave me the opportunity to be in some great scenes with amazing actors. I got to work with Joan Allen, Andrew McCarthy and many others. I also worked with some great directors. It was a major learning experience for me.   
What are your strong points as an actor? 
I think I’m patient, and that is helpful for spending hours on set and also with juggling the time that I spend getting tutored when I’m working.   

What actors do you admire? 

I admire Harrison Ford. I like his style of acting and the characters he has played. He’s had some of the best roles ever!    

How did you prepare for your role as Young Adam in The Family? 

Since I didn’t know in advance where the story was going, I had to prepare for each scene as I got the script. But, I was still able to learn about Young Adam from his conversations with the other characters. He is smart, nice, and gets lost in his own thoughts sometimes. He liked to build models of ships-in-a-bottle, and was learning all about that with his neighbor Hank (Andrew McCarthy). I researched ship-in-a-bottle models and learned about how they are made, and also researched some of the types of actual schooners that had been built. Young Adam had this knowledge and I wanted to be able to talk believably about it.      


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