A fourth Emmy nomination in tow and a prominent role in Hulu's "The Path," 2016 has been exceptionally good to Max Ehrich. The "Under the Dome" actor is also working on his music with Grammy-Nominated Producer KLYPSO.
Ehrich spoke to International Business Times, India, regarding his career in acting and music, along with his desire to work on anti-bullying campaigns. Here are edited excerpts from the interview:
International Business Times: How do you feel about being nominated for the Emmy Awards for a fourth consecutive time?
Max Ehrich: It's an amazing feeling. This nomination is more like a bonus for me because it's my passion, but an accolade recognising all the hard work I put in on a daily basis feels great, too. When I filmed these scenes, I was flying in on red-eye flights, filming Y & R scenes, and then shooting "Under the Dome," mustering up all I could to make every scene as emotional as the last.
IBT: How is being in a long-running soap opera like "The Young and the Restless" different from being in other projects?
Ehrich: The filming schedule is way different. With "The Young and the Restless," we film a scene in one take and an episode in one day. When we film prime-time shows, there's no telling how many takes will be needed to make it perfect.
IBT: You have been part of many drama shows in your career. Is it a welcome change to do light-hearted comedies like "100 Things to Do Before High School," or do you prefer the intensity of dramas?
Ehrich: I like doing both at the same time. I can dive deep into a dramatic role one week, then come up for a lighthearted role the next. It's nice to express both parts; I wouldn't say I prefer one or the other. You're looking at the world through two different lenses and a lot of the time I use music to incite the emotions I need for each character. For example, when preparing for "100 Things To Do Before High School," I always listen to light and happy music, but when I work on "The Path" I listen to bands like Nirvana, which always draws out the darker emotions I need to play Freddie.
IBT: What was the audition process for "The Path" like?
Ehrich: It's a funny story actually. I had to make the audition tape on short notice so I ended up filming it in my bedroom on my iPhone with my girlfriend; so you could say I was already feeling comfortable. But the moment I read that script, the moment I read that role, I knew it was something special. We only did one take of the audition; the writing was so good I was hooked instantly (no pun intended).
IBT: Could you tell us a little bit about you character Freddie Ridge? How did you prepare to portray a recovering heroin addict?
Ehrich: Freddie Ridge is an over-privileged teenager who figures himself to be a rockstar of sorts. It's valuable insight for a young audience who may not know the true power of addiction. He finds himself in and out of rehab, never truly able to stay clean. I did a ton of research in preparation for this role. I was reading countless diaries and watching even more documentaries. I would say the Amy Winehouse and Kurt Corbain documentaries were both incredibly helpful in understanding the woes of an addict.
IBT: Do you relate to Meyerism on any level?
Ehrich: You know, that is an interesting question. I would say there are some aspects of Meyerism that I can relate to, like meditation and spreading love and peace. I draw the line when the extreme measures come into play.
IBT: On the sets of a drama like "The Path," does the set imbibe the solemn tone of the show, or do the cast and crew make up for it by having twice as much fun off camera?
Ehrich: We have twice as much fun off the camera hands down. I love the entire cast. It was a dream to get to work with such selfless individuals. The vibe was really chill when the cameras weren't rolling and the cast is awesome.
IBT: The show has heavy-hitters like Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan. Whom do you have the best chemistry with?
Ehrich: Most of my scenes were with Michelle Monaghan. She's just super chill and I had a great time filming my scenes with her. Aaron Paul is fantastic. On the first day when we were in the trailer together, he went out of his way to come over and introduce himself, which was dope.
IBT: The show has had an overwhelmingly positive response. What kind of feedback have you gotten personally?
Ehrich: All of the positive feedback is a blessing. Everyone is wondering where my character's story line is going, where Aaron and Michelle's are going; they are just super hyped about it. A lot of my young fans even told me they downloaded Hulu just to watch the show! I was also pleasantly surprised by the support I received from other countries, mainly Brazil.
IBT: What is the major difference between working on a Hulu show and network shows?
Ehrich: I would say the main difference is with Hulu, there are few boundaries you can't cross and almost no censorship ... it really allows for a raw and more genuine portrayal of a story.
IBT: Can you tell us anything about your musical project? What can fans expect from the record you are making with KLYPSO?
Ehrich: My music is my passion. The first love I ever had was my piano. I'm having an amazing time in the recording studio every day. I don't like to just dabble with my music or make a quick buck. I don't want to give away too much, but I'm definitely excited to share my craft.
IBT: You are a vocal advocate of anti-bullying and equality. What got you started in that?
Ehrich: I encountered bullying as a kid and learned to never feel defeated. When you have big dreams, people will always try to shoot them and bring you down. As long as you put your heart and soul into it what you love then you've already proved them wrong. It doesn't matter what one person thinks about you, it's about what you think about you. It would be great to partner up with a non-profit to advocate more about this. If I can help just one kid with my story then it would be worth it.