With its unconventional storyline, multiple love triangles and extreme mother-daughter drama, it’s no wonder that MTV’s Finding Carter was the network’s best scripted launch in more than two years. Six episodes in, there are still plenty of unanswered questions that keep fans tuning in. To get some perspective from the set, we talked to Alex Saxon who wears multiple hats playing “Max”: as Carter’s former boyfriend and current best friend, as well as love interest for Carter’s twin sister, Taylor. Alex weighs in on his experience starring on the show that’s quickly become cable’s #1 new cable series among teens.
Finding Carter debuted strong on MTV and quickly established a devoted fan base. Congrats! Why do you think the show is resonating with young audiences?
AS: I think the premise is responsible for the initial reaction. It’s a compelling set of circumstances for Carter, the family, everyone involved. Beyond that, the writers have eschewed an oversimplified black and white world. The characters aren’t good or bad; they’re dynamic shades of gray. It’s not dumbed down for the audience. That leaves much to be appreciated.
Max has evolved into a complex and important character on the show. Do you draw on any real-life or personal experiences to play him?
AS: I don’t draw on anything concretely. I show up on time, know my lines, and hit my mark. The rest is up to the muse and the integrity of the script. I’m grateful for good writing.
The cast includes a lot of veteran TV actors. Can you share some stories from the set?
AS: I’ve loved working with Cynthia [Watros] and Alexis [Denisof], but the majority of my scenes were with the other actors in the show. I did have the privilege of working with director Jennifer Lynch on episodes 9 and 10. As David Lynch’s daughter, she boasts a veteran pedigree. But more to the point, she’s a talented filmmaker in her own right…and a joyful presence on set. She graciously let me shadow her when I wasn’t working in a scene as an actor. She holds a clam shell portable monitor and hides around corners and behind furniture on set–right in the action. The experience was formative, to say the least. I’m excited to work with her again.
While Finding Carter features strong female leads, it was also developed and executive produced by a team of women. Does that make this a unique experience?
AS: I’ve had the good fortune of working on two different shows with strong female leads, The Fosters and Finding Carter, both of which are run by creative and sensitive storytellers. So it’s not unique to me, though it’s unfortunate that that’s a rarity worth mentioning. I trust the trend will continue.
Can you give us any hints about what’s in store for Max throughout the rest of the season?
AS: I can’t give away too much. But I will say the Max we’ve come to know this far in the season will not be the Max we end with. Everyone’s sense of stability and control will be tested.