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Max Minghella Interview Magazine

Max Minghella Interview Magazine

PS :: Well, naturalism can be a dead end if you’re not careful. When it says to slit your wrists, if you don’t do it, then you’ve somehow failed. I guess what we all want to do is rise above ordinariness and bring other people along with us.
MM :: That’s why heroes are very important in life. They are just as fallible as we are, but it’s good to have them as a dream to live up to. I got to meet Justin Timberlake the other day, which was exciting.
PS :: Wow. Did you dance or anything like that?
MM :: [laughs] I didn’t, but Justin came up to me at a party, which was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m a skinny, left-wing, arty-farty boy from London, and the idea of a 180-pound guy from Tennessee talking to me is pretty exciting.
PS :: Well, I’m not going to ask you about your love life. But what I recommend doing when this interview comes out is getting a Sharpie and going down to the newsstand and writing your telephone number in a couple of issues, just to see what happens.
MM ::
We’ll set up a date line: 1-800-MAX-IS-AVAILABLE.

With a copy of Plato’s Republic under his arm, some big ideas in his head, and a dad (Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella) who directed The English Patient to boot, Max Minghella, 21, is plotting to make some epic moves of his own.  Max Minghella, currently attends Columbia University in NYC and is interviewed by actor Peter Sarsgaard (most recently appeared in Sam Mendes’s Jarhead, engaged to expecting Maggie Gyllenhaal) in the May 2006 issue of Interview Magazine. Watch the Art School Confidential trailer below (Limited release :: Friday, May 5) and check out the interview between John Malkovich and Max Minghella. Read the full article after the jump!

http://cdn02.cdn.justjared.commax-minghella-interview-magazine00.jpg
Max Minghella could be the second chapter in the next movie
dynasty — that is, if he can get through midterms first.

WATCH :: John Malkovich and Max Minghella interview each other at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (video).

Max Minghella

By: Peter Sarsgaard

Interview Magazine May 2006

In Terry Zwigoff’s new film, Art School Confidential, Max Minghella plays a wayward student who hatches a grand plan to make it big as an artist and win the heart of the most beautiful girl in school. Based on the popular comic strip by Daniel Clowes (who also collaborated with Zwigoff on 2001 ‘s Ghost World), the film is a stylized, cheeky send-up of both the art world and celebrity culture. With a brilliant supporting cast that includes John Malkovich, Anjelica Huston, and Sophia Myles, Minghella—the son of Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella— is in fine company. But it’s the 20-year-old London-bred actor’s breakout performance, all calculated ambition and white-lightning drive, that remains the film’s bona fide centerpiece. Here, Peter Sarsgaard checks in.

PETER SARSGAARD :: Where are you?
MAX MINGHELLA :: I’m outside a bus stop in North London, right where I grew up. I’m on my way to meet my dad for dinner. I can see the hospital where I was born. This has been memorable already.
PS :: [both laugh] So, how have you been?
MM :: I’m good. I’m on leave from school at Columbia University for spring break. I should be in Cabo San Lucas, but unfortunately I’m in London. Are you in New York?
PS :: I am. How’s school going?
MM :: It’s been a little intense lately. Had the midterms.
PS :: I was never very good at that stuff. I bet you’re fantastic at it.
MM :: I’m not, but I pretend to be. Did you go to college?
PS :: I did, but I didn’t graduate. I dropped out my senior year. Don’t do that.
MM :: You made it through more than most. You did very well.
PS :: I imagine we should talk about some ole film stuff. I thought a line in Art School Confidential was interesting; there’s this prick in the film who went to the school and had done quite well for himself, and he’s talking in front of all the students and says, "To be a great artist you simply have to be a great artist." Which is not untrue, but I was looking at him and thinking that this is a man who defines becoming a great artist as becoming one that is commercially successful. I was wondering how you might define it for yourself.
MM :: Well, I’m very new to all of this, but the weird thing about acting seems to be that material success and artistic success are bizarrely linked in a way that maybe they aren’t in other mediums. There’s this sense that if you want to go off and do Jarhead with Sam Mendes, you have to go and make movies first that establish you and reach an audience. You have to do Flightplan to get to do Jarhead.
PS :: If you make a piece of art and no one sees it, does it really exist? I’ve done a lot of movies where I thought I actually did make something that was meaningful to me, and no one went to see them.
MM :: But then that raises the question: Does one make art for other people or for oneself? For me, all the pleasure of acting is in the process, not the product. I don’t get any pleasure out of a movie being shown to other people.
PS :: We don’t have a very good time acting out scenes over here in the house, though, with no one watching them. [Minghella laughs] You know, one of my first jobs was working with John Malkovich, who, of course, is in Art School Confidential. I’d seen him onstage when I was a kid, but he really frightened me. [laughs] He was very intimidating because of his chops and his intelligence and the seriousness with which he approaches his work—not just acting, but life as well.
MM :: The brilliant thing about John is that he’s totally aware of how pretentious he is. [both laugh] He’s unbelievably pretentious, yet he completely embraces it and sort of loves that about himself.
PS :: I saw that Malkovich was a producer on Art School Confidential. I can’t help thinking that he saw some aspects of Hollywood in the film and was interested in it because of that.
MM :: I would imagine. The parallels are not subtle.
PS :: When a film is set in a world that is not exactly like the one in which we live, the question I always face with a director is, "This is clearly not like our world. Explain to me how it is different." How did [director] Terry Zwigoff get you to understand the differences between the world in the film and the one that we all know?
MM :: Honestly? He didn’t. [Sarsgaard laughs] I just knew it was based on a comic strip and I knew the script, and you could walk onto the set and see that the colors were a bit more vibrant than they might be in real life.
PS :: But I found the stylized aspects of the film less immediately apparent with your character. There are a lot of kooks around you in this movie.
MM :: The struggle for me was to try to find a way to be interesting when you have actors around you who are not only of superior experience and technique but who also just have more fun material to work with. I mean, when I’m doing a scene with Ethan Suplee and Nick Swardson, who played my roommates, and they both have these great lines and they’re on a roll like stand-up comedians and I have to sort of be the straight man, it’s difficult to keep up. But it was an interesting challenge to maintain belief in that slightly fantastical world that is being portrayed.
PS :: Well, I thought you really captured a quality that you also have as a person, when you talk about having respect and awe for art and artists and other actors. You seem to me someone who doesn’t believe that it’s all bullshit—because certain people do.
MM :: But maybe I’m equally naïve.
PS :: Naïve would be a lame thing to call it, because hopefully you’ll hold on to that belief. If you believe in the art form, you have the capacity to reimagine what it can be. I think that’s what each generation is supposed to do, you know?
MM :: I hope so. Has that happened, though? Do you feel like, from generation to generation, there’s been a change in approach? I think method acting seems to have evolved in a weird way. I feel like the Brando of it all doesn’t exist anymore—yet with American actors there’s definitely a seriousness and a technique that they try to emulate.
PS :: Well, naturalism can be a dead end if you’re not careful. When it says to slit your wrists, if you don’t do it, then you’ve somehow failed. I guess what we all want to do is rise above ordinariness and bring other people along with us.
MM :: That’s why heroes are very important in life. They are just as fallible as we are, but it’s good to have them as a dream to live up to. I got to meet Justin Timberlake the other day, which was exciting.
PS :: Wow. Did you dance or anything like that?
MM :: [laughs] I didn’t, but Justin came up to me at a party, which was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m a skinny, left-wing, arty-farty boy from London, and the idea of a 180-pound guy from Tennessee talking to me is pretty exciting.
PS :: [laughs] Have you traveled much around the United States?
MM :: I haven’t really. Actually, I might go do this movie in Texas.
PS :: Is it an indie?
MM :: It’s very, very indie. I like the idea of pretending to be from Texas for a couple of months.
PS :: There’s a long history of people with some English in them playing Southern.
MM :: The accents are not dissimilar.
PS :: Just throw in a hard r. That’s my only piece of advice. So are you going to leave school for a period to do this film in Texas?
MM :: Unfortunately, I might have to. I’m going to finish school, but if you’ve got to make the compromise, then you have to make the compromise.
PS :: Somehow I feel lucky to have figured out that I wanted to be an actor when I was older. When I look at people whose first experiences are in big films, I think, Wow, that’s a bitch. [Minghella laughs] We live in a culture that really loves to exalt young actors and then just takes them down so hard. I don’t understand the glee of bringing them down.
MM :: I grew up in England, and an innate part of our culture is that you can’t celebrate anything. We’re all so scared. We’re still pissed off about losing our colonies, so we’re worried that anything we like is going to get taken away from us. So I’ve grown up with a fear of celebration.
PS :: I’ve sensed that about you. [laughs] Well, I’m not going to ask you about your love life. But what I recommend doing when this interview comes out is getting a Sharpie and going down to the newsstand and writing your telephone number in a couple of issues, just to see what happens.
MM :: We’ll set up a date line: 1-800-MAX-IS-AVAILABLE.

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  • k_kody

    interviewspree : )

  • Rachel

    wow. loads and loads of interviews. he reminds me of jonathan rhys-meyers.

  • OO LA LA, GAY!!

    This boy’s lips are to die for. Ladies, imagine those lips on your neck. Oo La La! LOL… Anyway, is he gay? But I do love guys with bigger or gorgeous lips. It’s true when they say bigger lips are better… in many, many ways.

  • LoveLeeR

    @OO LA LA, GAY!!: No he’s not gay , yay !!!
    I agree w/ the lips thing, totally, definitely better when it comes to…
    Love U Minghella !

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