Max Harwood is living in a self-proclaimed “theater geek” dream. A few days ago, he went to see one of London’s most popular musicals, “Everyone’s Talking Jamie.” The show, based on the documentary “Jamie: The Drug Queen at 16” (with music by Dan Gillespie Sales and Tom McRae’s book and song) tells the story of a teenage boy who wants to be a drag queen and faces the stigma he faces. Now, Harvard is starring in Film Adaptation, ready for release on September 17 on Amazon Prime Video.
Where did you first develop your talent for acting and singing?
I’ve always loved to perform and have grown up amateur drama shows. When I was 1 18, I met two teachers who performed my A-level plays and they encouraged me to move on to acting. So I thought I would study musical theater in drama school. Now, it’s easier said than done because I auditioned for all the drama I wanted to go to school and didn’t get into any! But a school came back – the Guildford School of Acting – and offered me a basic course in acting and musical instruments. My local theater society actually gave me one [scholarship] So I could carry my fees because otherwise I would never have gone. At Guildford I really fell in love and it was like, “Wow, I’m going to do this as a career.”
You said that when you first responded to the open call for a film version of “Jamie”, did you think you had no chance?
I was in my second year at Urdang Academy, and you are not allowed to audition for outside projects. I was, “I’m not breaking the rules. I’m not there either. ”I also assumed they were looking for a name, a star. I was not going to sell the movie. But my friend Lydia encouraged me to send a tape – or forced me to. Because I didn’t think I was going to get it, I used the whole thing as a learning process. And I didn’t put too much pressure on myself.
Have you ever tried dragging before this movie?
Not really. I used to dress up as a child; My sister and I performed “Greece” for the family, and I changed roles so I could play Rizo. But I’m a huge fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. I was incredibly excited when a makeup artist pulled me over. And while I was auditioning, I went out and bought makeup, and I followed the YouTube videos where you learn things like sticking your eyebrows. Honestly, some of the things I put on my face were really questionable and horrible. But I’ve gotten better. I can actually do an OK drag face for myself, so I’m very proud of it.
I think learning to walk on high heels will be the hardest.
It was really hard! And I did ballet, so my legs were pretty strong. I worked with an amazing heel coach named Shawn Niles, and we spent a few hours in the dance studio, playing Whitney Houston, learning about hip placement and strengthening things like ankles and the like.
Things you don’t know about Max Harwood:
Place of birth: About an hour southwest of Basingstoke, Hampshire, London
Previous job: His local movie theater and a sneaker shop
Dream work: A role in the Marvel universe