Max is in attendance at the 70th Annual Emmy Awards this evening for “The Handmaids Tale”. The gallery has been updated with pictures of Max at the awards. Check back later for more!
We have updated the gallery of more pictures of Max at the Toronto International Film Festival. The gallery has been updated with pictures of Max at the The Hollywood Foreign Press Association And InStyle Party as well as with some new TIFF portraits.
Max’s film, “Teen Spirit”, in which he directed and wrote, will be debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival. Congratulations to Max and the cast and crew! Read about the film below:
A shy teenager dreams of pop stardom and enters an international singing competition as an escape from her small town and difficult family life, in actor Max Minghella’s (The Handmaid’s Tale) feature debut.
Seventeen-year-old Violet (Elle Fanning, also at the Festival in Galveston) lives with her mother (Agnieszka Grochowska) on a small farm on the Isle of Wight. Her days are spent doing chores, waiting tables, and attending secondary school, where she keeps to herself.
But in her free time – spent alone in her room, in the fields with her beloved horse, or at an under-attended open-mic night – Violet surrenders to song. She’s a naturally gifted singer for whom pop stardom might not be mere fantasy. This lovely film, the directorial debut of actor Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale), tells the story of how Violet gathers the courage to come out of her shell with a bang.
This is also the story of a friendship. Vlad (Zlatko Buric), a once-celebrated opera singer, hears Violet and knows she’s something special. He declares himself her manager and trainer, accompanying her as she tries out for a popular televised musical talent program called Teen Spirit. Vlad is a bear of a man with a tendency to drink away his sorrows, but if he and Violet can stick together as her star rises, they might just make each other better people.
This is a familiar story. In fact, one of Teen Spirit’s executive producers is Jamie Bell (appearing at the Festival in both Skin and Donnybrook), whose breakthrough role was in Billy Elliot, a film with a similar trajectory. But Teen Spirit feels strikingly fresh.
Minghella and cinematographer Autumn Durald-Arkpaw combine a predominantly low-key visual style with occasional bursts of music-video sizzle, while Violet and Vlad make a loveable surrogate father-daughter team whose camaraderie is touching. Above all, Fanning has never given such a stunningly controlled performance, combining sustained withdrawal with sudden explosions of dazzling musical energy.
There are not many good men in Gilead. There aren’t even many men in Gilead about whom you might reasonably feel conflicted; the misgoynist dystopia at the heart of The Handmaid’s Tale is populated by sociopathic Commanders and power-crazed Guardians whose every worst impulse is fostered by the society in which they live. But Max Minghella’s Nick is the exception. Though seemingly a loyal employee to the Waterfords and an effective agent of Gilead, it becomes clear by the end of Season 1 that Nick’s stoical exterior belies a rebellious spirit, and that his love for June (Elisabeth Moss) is very, very real.
Season 2 has pushed Nick’s unflappability to its limits: following the news that June is pregnant with his child, he conspires to get her out of Gilead and comes painfully close to succeeding. His effort to undermine his monstrous boss, Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), is thwarted by a bombing. Most unexpectedly of all, the regime “rewards” Nick for his service by giving him a 15-year-old bride, Eden (Sydney Sweeney), whose presence leaves him truly unsettled. And in this week’s episode, “Postpartum,” Nick’s stilted dynamic with Eden takes a tragic turn; having tried and failed to find any love in her marriage, Eden has fallen for another man, Isaac, and when her affair is discovered, she is executed.
BAZAAR.com sat down with Minghella to discuss shooting June and Nick’s intense sex scenes, that devastating turn in Episode 12, and why Season 2 has felt so much darker to him than Season 1.
Harper’s BAZAAR: I’m still not really over Nick and Luke [O. T. Fagbenle] meeting for the first time in Episode 9. Was that scene as intense to shoot as it was to watch?
Max Minghella: There was definitely a lot of anticipation about that scene on the creative side, and Lizzie [Moss] herself was really involved in how it played out. For me, it was so much fun to finally work with O. T.! This is a funny show, because we all get along so well but most of us haven’t spent much time together. We all work in these little segregated groups, and I work almost exclusively with Lizzie [Moss] and occasionally with Yvonne [Strahovski] and Joe [Fiennes]. What was thrilling about the Canada episode was finally getting to engage with these other parts of the world. O. T. and I are very different people, which is smart casting because Nick and Luke are also wildly different. It’s a smart dichotomy with these two men, which I think reflects two sides of June.
HB: So Elisabeth Moss was involved with developing that scene?
MM: Yeah, she’s very involved in everything. People obviously know that she stars in the show, but I don’t think people realize how much she really produces the show. It’s far from a vanity credit, she really is our day-to-day producer, and is very, very much involved in the scripts and the edits. But she cared in particular about that scene, and I think as a fan of the show herself she wanted to make sure it really played out right.
HB: I was very suspicious of Nick throughout Season 1, and even now it’s sometimes unclear how involved he is with the resistance versus Gilead. What is his deal?
MM: What I love about playing Nick is that he’s someone who is always lying, to a degree. But I’m very defensive of him because I play him, so I’ve never had those suspicions about his moral compass. I love that he is a very romantic character—I’m a very romantic person in real life, so that’s something I like tapping into and channeling. In this show, which is so often bleak and difficult, Nick’s a part of the narrative that is hopefully cathartic. When I go to set in the morning to shoot a scene with Lizzie, I always feel like it’s nice to be bringing something slightly less intense for a few hours, slightly less dark. Continue Reading “Max Minghella Talks Playing the Only Good Man in Gilead on The Handmaid’s Tale”