Interview With “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Star Max Mackenzie! (@ItsMaxMackenzie)
We recently had the chance to chat with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star Max Mackenzie about getting his start in the industry, working on set, upcoming projects, and more!
1. How did you get your start in the entertainment industry
I started working during my senior year in high school just around Boston where I grew up. It was a very safe place for me to experiment and learn about on-camera technique. When I went off to college however, I dove head first into the NY market and haven’t looked back since. It’s definitely a process with networking, and proving yourself, but I feel I was so ready to do so with the training I gave myself the year before. It’s all about baby steps, and pushing yourself to the next level!
2. What was the audition process like for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?”
It’s funny, the audition itself was super straight forward, but still the screening process was apparently the most rigorous of my fellow cast mates who all had major roles in the episode. Or at least that’s the sentiment they shared when we watched our episode together. I had a pre-screening with Phil Huffman (SVU’s Casting Director) and got a text from my manager just an hour later that he had called me back for the producer session the next day at the studio. The producers session was a totally different vibe, and it was interesting being in the room full of so many tense people that I recognized going for various roles. But it turned out that the awesome cast I filmed with (Eric Tabach, Mallory Bechtel, and Molly Brown) were simply cast off their first auditions. Mallory actually had to fly in from Texas to film! So it seems I had a different process than my cast mates, but it was a really great time. Such a whirlwind process, as episodic TV can be.
3. What was your reaction when you found out you booked the role?
I’ll never forget it. SVU is a show I’ve wanted to be on for awhile. It was a big goal of mine. It’s known as a right of passage among actors in New York. I got the call from my manager just before I went in to get my flu shot. I was signing in, inside a very quiet waiting room and tried to keep my composure. It really was one of those moments I’ll never forget.
4. What was your experience like getting to work on the show?
I love the show. Getting to work on a set of that magnitude was a blast, but comes with a lot of pressure and responsibility. There is a reason they want principal talent to be so comfortable on set- once you hit your mark, you have to have killer composure and focus to get your job done. There is only so much time in a day to shoot what needs to get done, so it all feels so quick. Getting to have the job is an honor and a blast, but is first and foremost a responsibility.
5. What is a fun fact that most fans wouldn’t know about the set/show?
Everyone is a lot of fun on set as we all try to keep it light. We all joke around in between takes, and get serious when we start rolling. It’s something that surprises a lot of people because SVU covers very important and prevalent issues, but at the end of the day it’s a lot like every other set I’ve been on where we’re all happy to be there working with one another covering such important issues.
6. What did you take away from working on that project that you carried with you on others?
It’s all about the work. From micro budget productions, to a multi-million dollar set like SVU, it’s about what I do when we roll. The most I can do is always just my job, and letting everyone else worry about theirs, but be ready to help. We’re all in this together trying to make something great, together.
7. Are you currently working on any projects that you’d like to share with us?
I do not actually! I just went through a big shakeup with my representation, as I felt I needed a change in management, so that put things at a full stop for a bit, but I’ve been back on the audition trail for a few weeks now with my new manager and going strong so we’ll see how that changes. A couple casting offices have me on hold for a few things at the moment too so life is pretty much back to normal.
8. What is your favorite part about acting?
Getting to escape being me for a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I like being me a lot, but a break is nice too.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
Don’t get too bogged down in thinking you have to train first, and work second. I see this too much. Way more learning happens on set than in a classroom. Take it from me. Of course, train away! You’ll learn wonderful things. But try dipping your feet into the industry as soon as possible at the same time. You’re looking to make a career out of it eventually anyway, right? so why not make your move while everyone else is in school learning about it? Just something to think about…
10. What is a fun fact about yourself?
I am a duel British-American citizen, and am a hypochondriac.
11. What are your social media accounts?
Instagram & Twitter are both @itsmaxmackenzie
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