Category: max

hellyeahomeland: An HYH Exclusive Interview wi…

hellyeahomeland:

An HYH Exclusive Interview with Maury Sterling

[Here at HYH, it’s no secret that we love and adore Max. As the most dependable and loyal person in a sea of unreliable characters, it’s hard not to. And it’s about this time every season that we start and rally behind a #ProtectMax campaign. So it’s quite an understatement to say that we are thrilled to feature an exclusive interview with the man who’s brought him to life the last seven years, Maury Sterling. Maury was gracious enough to answer our questions about auditioning for Max, how he’s brought him to life, and his favorite moments working on the series as part of our ongoing “On the Record with…” series. Thank you, Maury! –the HYH team]

Hell Yeah Homeland: You first appeared in the pilot. How did you get involved in the show? What do you remember from your audition and first days of filming? 

Maury Sterling: I auditioned for the show. At the time, didn’t know much about it. Neat bit of trivia, I read for the Virgil character. I remember the audition as being… special. Alex Gansa and Michael Klick were in the room. Junie Lowry Johnson and Libby Goldstein were casting. Was one of those that was relaxed, easy, good.  

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HYH: We think that everyone needs a Max in their life. What do you love about playing the character?  

MS: I need a Max. I’m terrible with technology. Max has taught me a lot. He has taught me about being simple, about listening, and about telling the truth. From a selfish perspective, I get to go to work and watch great actors do their thing.  

HYH: When we first meet Max, he’s Virgil’s “mute” brother whom Carrie is suspicious of. Now, he’s one of her (if not the) most trusted friends. How would you describe Max’s evolution overall throughout the seasons? How has the way you’ve approached playing him through the years changed?

MS: I never expected the role to have lasted this long. So, I’ve always taken it one season at a time and it has ended [up] being a happy surprise. That said, my approach to playing Max has stayed the same. The Homeland writers are so strong, and Max’s character felt very available from the first episode. That clarity created a great foundation as we moved forward. Max has a line in season two (I think) when he says to Carrie, “I always believed you.” I feel like Max understands Carrie in a way, and isn’t shy about telling her when she has screwed up.

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HYH: You’ve been a part of all seasons except season five. What has been your favorite scene to film? 

MS: Many scenes. Snooping with Virgil in the pilot. Great one-liners with Rupert. The scenes in season four, with Fara and Carrie, were powerful and heartbreaking. Walking into the bot farm in season six gave me goosebumps. It’s really an honor to get to work on the show.

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HYH: Carrie’s relationship with Max is one of the few on the show we’ve seen from the very beginning. How would you describe the evolution of that relationship? Why do you think Max has remained loyal to Carrie for so long?

MS: Maybe Carrie, and this would be a question for Claire, can trust Max. A place that she can relax? I find being around people who tell the truth to be very calming. I don’t always like what they have to say, but in the short and long run, it creates a stability. And, as I said earlier, I think that Max understands Carrie, and believes in Carrie’s mission to defend the country. And Max is just as committed to the job.  

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What a wonderful human being Maury Sterling is. And he’s the first cast member giving Rupert the acknowledgement he deserves.

An HYH Exclusive Interview with Maury Sterling[Here at HYH, it’s…

An HYH Exclusive Interview with Maury Sterling

[Here at HYH, it’s no secret that we love and adore Max. As the most dependable and loyal person in a sea of unreliable characters, it’s hard not to. And it’s about this time every season that we start and rally behind a #ProtectMax campaign. So it’s quite an understatement to say that we are thrilled to feature an exclusive interview with the man who’s brought him to life the last seven years, Maury Sterling. Maury was gracious enough to answer our questions about auditioning for Max, how he’s brought him to life, and his favorite moments working on the series as part of our ongoing “On the Record with…” series. Thank you, Maury! –the HYH team]

Hell Yeah Homeland: You first appeared in the pilot. How did you get involved in the show? What do you remember from your audition and first days of filming? 

Maury Sterling: I auditioned for the show. At the time, didn’t know much about it. Neat bit of trivia, I read for the Virgil character. I remember the audition as being… special. Alex Gansa and Michael Klick were in the room. Junie Lowry Johnson and Libby Goldstein were casting. Was one of those that was relaxed, easy, good.  

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HYH: We think that everyone needs a Max in their life. What do you love about playing the character?  

MS: I need a Max. I’m terrible with technology. Max has taught me a lot. He has taught me about being simple, about listening, and about telling the truth. From a selfish perspective, I get to go to work and watch great actors do their thing.  

HYH: When we first meet Max, he’s Virgil’s “mute” brother whom Carrie is suspicious of. Now, he’s one of her (if not the) most trusted friends. How would you describe Max’s evolution overall throughout the seasons? How has the way you’ve approached playing him through the years changed?

MS: I never expected the role to have lasted this long. So, I’ve always taken it one season at a time and it has ended [up] being a happy surprise. That said, my approach to playing Max has stayed the same. The Homeland writers are so strong, and Max’s character felt very available from the first episode. That clarity created a great foundation as we moved forward. Max has a line in season two (I think) when he says to Carrie, “I always believed you.” I feel like Max understands Carrie in a way, and isn’t shy about telling her when she has screwed up.

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HYH: You’ve been a part of all seasons except season five. What has been your favorite scene to film? 

MS: Many scenes. Snooping with Virgil in the pilot. Great one-liners with Rupert. The scenes in season four, with Fara and Carrie, were powerful and heartbreaking. Walking into the bot farm in season six gave me goosebumps. It’s really an honor to get to work on the show.

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HYH: Carrie’s relationship with Max is one of the few on the show we’ve seen from the very beginning. How would you describe the evolution of that relationship? Why do you think Max has remained loyal to Carrie for so long?

MS: Maybe Carrie, and this would be a question for Claire, can trust Max. A place that she can relax? I find being around people who tell the truth to be very calming. I don’t always like what they have to say, but in the short and long run, it creates a stability. And, as I said earlier, I think that Max understands Carrie, and believes in Carrie’s mission to defend the country. And Max is just as committed to the job.  

HYH: Max was by Carrie’s side last season when she was battling for custody of Franny and again reminds her this season that she has to be home in time to get Franny from school. How do you think Max feels about Franny and Carrie’s role as a mother? 

MS: One of my favorite lines this season was, “Hi Franny.”  Max likes Franny. And feels for her in his awkward Max way. Again, I think Max has a mathematical way of looking at things. Meaning, he sees and understands the consequences of actions. It’s not about judging Carrie or not judging Carrie, it’s about the cost. Max wants Carrie to win, to succeed. As a person, a mother, a spy. He’s also got a big heart. He feels for people. 

HYH: Last season, Max astutely calls out that Quinn has a “thing” about Carrie. Max witnessed their ops and partnership from DC to Islamabad to New York. How do you think Max understood that relationship?

MS: So much drama. Just get on with it for crying out loud!  

HYH: Last year, the “Quax” bromance had quite a following on social media. We really loved Max and Quinn’s unusual but ultimately close friendship and we actually see how torn up Max is about Quinn’s death in the season six finale. Can you talk about what it was like to bring that friendship between Max and Quinn together onscreen with Rupert? 

MS: Unusual is right. At first I don’t think Max liked Quinn very much. Quinn was the new guy: bossy, rude, arrogant. And Max is protective of Carrie. But, over time, I think Max appreciated Quinn’s direct nature. Looked up to him (not just because he is taller), and greatly respected his skill set. I’m sure some part of Max wants to be like Quinn. And once Max decides to make someone a friend, he is deeply loyal. As for working with Rupert, he is a royal pain in the ass whom I miss. 😉 I loved working with Rupert. He is a talented son of a gun.

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HYH: We’ve read that there was discussion of Max possibly being somewhere on the Autism spectrum. Can you talk more about this backstory and how it informs your portrayal of the character? 

MS: Yes, early on in rehearsal with Michael Cuesta, the director of the pilot, and Alex Gansa, we decided that Max was probably on the spectrum. It’s been interesting to explore that aspect of Max. How it manifests? He doesn’t like to be touched. He is generally uncomfortable with others. And he has a keen attention to detail. Max notices anomalies. He is also unfiltered in his way, and doesn’t follow expected social graces. I had to validate Max’s value in the world of Homeland. He couldn’t just be the “weird little brother.”  He needed to serve a purpose. And I think that purpose is he sees the heart of things. Whether it be on the job or personally.  

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HYH: Our hearts broke for Max when Fara died, and we still miss the character dearly. Carrie’s role in Fara’s death was a major issue between Carrie and Max at the end of season four. How do you think that’s affected Max and Carrie’s relationship? Do you think Max will ever be able to move on from Fara’s loss and find love? 

MS: I’m not sure Max will move past that. I don’t think Max has ever had any expectation that love would be a part of his life. I  think Max always knew that Fara was out of his league. He never really believed that they could be together. But it didn’t stop him from loving her. Max loves Carrie too. And he gets the cost of living in her world. The loss of Fara, of Quinn, of shooting someone in Islamabad, all these things weigh on him. I think he stands by Carrie because he cares [for] her and part of that care is [trying to] stop her from causing excess damage. 

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HYH: What are your hopes for Max’s future? What would you like to see for the character as the show winds down next season? 

MS: I’ve been enjoying getting to do some of Max’s own missions. Some more of that would be fun.  

HYH: Homeland’s seventh season is wrapping up. What other projects are you working on during the hiatus? 

MS: I’m doing some writing and looking into producing. And may be doing a play this summer.  

HYH: We also love following your wife, producer and actor Alexis Boozer, on social media. You both make a great team! What projects is she currently working on?

MS: She is really busy. She has at least three films in early stages of development. She is a badass.

HYH: You posted on Twitter about shadowing Lesli Linka Glatter as she directed the season seven finale. What are your biggest takeaways from the experience? As an actor, what insights did you gain from observing that aspect of the production? Can we expect to see “Directed by Maury Sterling” on a future episode of Homeland? 

MS: [It] would be nice to see “Directed by Maury Sterling” but I have a ways to go and some more learning to do. Takeaways: Preparation, preparation, preparation. Communication. Know what you want.  Bring your own vision to the table. Surround yourself with good people. Have a point of view. I can’t say enough about Lesli Linka Glatter. She is an astounding human. I feel so unbelievably grateful that she let me follow along. Her work ethic, preparation, skill, kindness, boundless energy, [and] celebration of creativity are inspiring. One of her mottos is “best idea wins.” It’s not about ego, it’s about telling the story. She knows everyone’s name on set. She also taught me about when to stand one’s ground. The entire Homeland team is really impressive to see in action. A level of professionalism from the top down. As an actor, it is really good to appreciate that we are just the tip of a very big triangle. To see the whole machine, the whole crew, and all the work that goes into the moment when the cameras roll. Humbling. And don’t [take] things personally, and preparation, preparation, preparation.    

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HYH: How did it feel, after six years, for Max to finally get a last name? Is Pietrowski really his last name or was that a cover? 

MS: Ha! It felt very validating. Mandy and I spent a few minutes making sure we were pronouncing it correctly. I also just like being “Max.” And no comment if it is just a cover. 

Can we talk about how hot Max is in this seaso…

Can we talk about how hot Max is in this season?

Yes! So what do you think is the difference? Is it the scruff and the fresh hair cut? I love clean shaven Max too! Either way, we love Max and Maury Sterling! 

Max through the seasons FTW:

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Can we talk about how hot Max is in this season?

Yes! So what do you think is the difference? Is it the scruff and the fresh hair cut? I love clean shaven Max too! Either way, we love Max and Maury Sterling! 

Max through the seasons FTW:

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hellyeahomeland: HOMELAND | “Species Jump” | …

hellyeahomeland:

HOMELAND | “Species Jump” | One Liners

“He who rolleth the stone, it will return upon him.”

HOMELAND | “Species Jump” | One Liners

HOMELAND | “Species Jump” | One Liners

“Pilot” || “Species Jump”

“Pilot” || “Species Jump”

….and a sneak peak from next week’s episode. Can Saul get…

….and a sneak peak from next week’s episode. Can Saul get off his damn high horse right now? 

Recap Roundup

Homeland Season 7 Episode 6 “Species Jump

When Carrie is in full leather jacket spy mode and driving the story with all of the agency she should have had all along – I’m here for it. Here is what mainstream recappers have to say…and for Shirley Li at EW.com – whose recaps are usually pretty insightful – girlfriend needs to listen to the “Active Measures” HYH Podcast…her take couldn’t be more off about the Mole City Mayor.


AV Club – written by Scott Von Doviak

“It took nearly half the season to get there, but Homeland is finally pulling all of its threads in one direction. If you subscribe to the notion that it’s not really Homeland until Carrie and Saul have a scene together, rejoice! Tonight’s the night. Through all the changes over the years, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin have been at the heart of the show, even as the relationship between their characters deteriorates and regenerates. Does anyone really remember where we left off with these two last season? Do they even remember?”

“When she gives him the recap of the season so far, we realize that we never did see how things got started between Dante and Carrie in the first place. And while I’m sure some *veteran viewers of the show have been suspicious of Dante from the start (somebody is always the mole, after all), Carrie doesn’t see it until Saul lays it out with his usual blunt, methodical precision. In some way or another, Dante is with the Russians.” – *Gail raises her hand, pats self on back.


TVLine – written by Dave Nemetz

“Don’t fall for Carrie Mathison, boys; you will wake up to regret it.”


Vulture – by Brian Tallerico

“Homeland hits the midway point of its seventh season with one of its best episodes in years. We’ve finally converged the Saul and Carrie arcs, and the tight writing and direction of “Species Jump” makes one of the (technically) longest episodes of the season fly by. It’s an episode that plays with what we know about these characters — Carrie’s recklessness and Saul’s brilliance — and reminds us just how ambitious this season has been overall. After the death of Quinn at the end of season six, it must’ve been tempting to up the action and go overseas again, but instead, the writers looked homeward to craft a season about information warfare and Russian interference in American politics. It could still go off the rails, but this has been the best half-season of Homeland in years.”


Entertainment Weekly – by Shirley Li

“So, is Dante a double agent? At this point, that feels like too easy an answer, and it doesn’t totally work with what we know about him so far. If he had meant to play Carrie from the beginning, why did he refuse her request to run Simone’s photo and ID the first time? Why didn’t he play ball with Senator Paley the first time they met? And is it that much of a stretch for two former colleagues to run into each other in D.C.? If anything, I’d say Carrie should remain worried about the man who tried to bribe her for her hard drive. He may have gotten a severe beating and returned her stuff, but who’s to say he doesn’t still have copies of all her incriminating files? After everything she’s done, maybe what Carrie really needs is a little jail time.”

Carrie’s Angels + the saga of the cheap tequila (part III)

Carrie’s Angels + the saga of the cheap tequila (part III)