This is the second part of our Chicks Chat with Max Beesley multi talented Musician, Actor and Composer. Seasoned percussionist & pianist who has worked with the likes of George Micheal, Paul Weller, James Brown, Incognito, and of course his great friend Robbie Williams. With an incredibly busy acting career to boot…almost too many credits to mention both here and in the US. We at Those London Chicks are hugely excited that Max has taken the time out to have a good old ‘chin wag’ about his life, work and inspirations.
What advice would you give to young actors hoping to make it big in LA?
For the young actor that comes out here for ‘pilot’ season with those desires and dreams and wishes. It’s very very difficult, very tough and you’ve to have incredibly thick skin to take the knock backs. You have to realise it’s not about your talent or what you can show in the room. It’s about luck. It’s about a number of things: like if you’ve got a picture out or if you’ve got a good series out in the UK that gets transmitted over here. It’s about so many factors. There are just so many people here.
We can’t have this Chicks Chat without discussing ‘Mad Dogs’ where you starred alongside John Simm, Philip Glenister and Marc Warren. What incredible creative chemistry on screen, was it the same off screen?
Mad Dogs was a gift for all of us involved we all knew other before some better than others. But for the four of us that is a job we will never forget all our lives. We all grew together, we became very very close and I’ve gained 3 very, very close friend out of that job. I hope all the boys feel the same, just a phenomenal experience. We got on very well and we were very, very lucky to have worked with each other. Now the creator has a another run at it, the show has been successful in America so now the it has a “pilot to season order” in America. Which is wonderful for Chris Cole who was so great to work with. I think Micheal Imperially is playing Woody the part I played. Its very complimentary he’s a lovely actor, I loved him in The Sopranos.
You shot the series in South Africa, how was that?
Yes, what a country, what very beautiful country. We were lucky we shot in Cape Town. Politically, it’s not there yet as most people are aware. There is a little bit of change and lets hope things are rectified, sooner rather than later, but its certainly getting better over there. I do remember a time when we were younger my father was heavily against any South African produce etc. My Grandad Ernie Beesley was a big supporter of Mandela when he was ‘away’ in fact he formed the Free Nelson Mandela Campaign in South Manchester in the late 70’s early 80’s. It’s great to know that. I have a love of that country, if there’s a religious deal for me, it’s probably a spiritual thing. I’m not quite sure what is, but that they do say it’s ‘God’s Country’. I agree with that statement, it’s magical.
Rob Lake in Bodies, Tim Rice in Survivor, Charlie Edwards in Hotel Babylon, Stephen Huntley in Suits…..the list goes on. But your biggest role is that of Father to Sabrina and Husband to Jennifer. How has this changed your view on your life and your work?
My most important role to date is without a shadow of a doubt is being a Father.
Most actors will tell you that, unless they are completely self obsessed. I am partially self obsessed, but now that is after thought. The fact is, I have to provide for my family, my daughter and my wife. You often hear “having a child really changes your life”, you think yeah, yeah sure…. Well my daughter has done exactly that. She is phenomenal. She is all and everything. That is the most important thing in my life, it puts things into perspective. An incredible leveller, I’m extremely lucky.
I have a beautiful wife who is an incredibly phenominal Mother. I also have great a step son who’s 13 who is just, knockout. Yes, once children come into ones life everything changes…It’s a beautiful thing.
It’s an oxymoron “Nothing means anything apart from your child. Yet everything becomes apparent because of your child”. You have to keep earning….. But this is the best thing to ever happen to me, my phenomenal daughter.
Whats next work wise for you Max?
Well, I’ve just completed my directorial debut, a short film called ‘Band Call’ written by my father. Produced it with my father and I’ve just finished scoring the music for it. My dad is amazing in it, it was such a joy to be able to do something together. So that will be flying around the short film festivals and the film festivals this year till December this year, Then next year hopefully Sundance and Tribeca aswell. I’m really excited about it, directing something I really dig. I’m also writing and producing songs with Terence Howard a friend of mine. I’ve worked with him a few times, he’s in a show called Empire,which is probably going to be an outlet for some of the work we do together . It’s exciting finding the right singers for the songs and then getting them onto the show. Acting wise: It would be wonderful for “Ordinary Lies” (BBC) to get another series because its such a wonderful show. I’m also writing, so we’ll see what happens there. But my main focus is being a wonderful Father and Husband.
Thank you Max
Interview by Karen Bryson xx
See Max in new drama ‘Ordinary Lies’ Tuesdays BBC 1 9pm.
If you missed the show so far, available on BBC iPlayer.