Interview with “War for the Planet of the Apes” actor Max Lloyd-Jones

Max Lloyd-Jones had quite a ride filming “War for the Planet of the Apes.” The actor had the chance to really sink his teeth into a role with the challenge of moving like an ape, and thinking like an ape. Fans have seen him in roles such as in “iZombie,” “Scream: the TV Series,” “Reign,” “Once Upon a Time,” and “Supernatural.” Get to know this talented actor before his film hits the theaters July 14, 2017.

Actor Max Lloyd-Jones, photo courtesy of Tallulah Photography

Colleen Bement: You play Blue Eyes in the upcoming “War for the Planet of the Apes” and I’d love to hear about your experience making this movie.

Max Lloyd-Jones: It was so much fun. I came in and out of shooting, probably for like nine months. I chose to live back in Vancouver while I was shooting because that’s where I’m from. It was nice to kind of be home, and I would go and shoot whenever they needed me. From the very beginning, it was such a ride doing the movement audition with Terry Notary; training to move like an ape and think like an ape. He has it down to such a science by now, it was incredible. He had a Cirque du Soleil so he had such a specific artistic vision for it. It was really cool getting to dig my teeth into that and getting to be so physical. The motion capture is so specific with such an elegant technology now; it captures really everything down to the smallest facial movements. I’ve seen clips of my movement and I remembered specifically those expressions that came on my face, and how they have to honor your performance, and at the same time translate to that of an ape. It’s such a fascinating dance. Because it was so specific and took note of everything, it really demanded that we bring a very authentic portrayal of these characters. It was a really cool challenge to embody what that emotional journey is without turning it farcical. Andy especially led by example incredibly well; so focused, and the rest of the actors followed suit. It was such a joy to have that kind of freedom to live not only in that character but in that species.

CB: Do you have any projects in the works that you’re allowed to chat about?

MLJ: Nothing I’m particularly allowed to chat about, but I finished a play in Los Angeles. It was a really great time and keeping me very busy. It’s a new play called “Kiss” by Guillermo Calderon. It’s a satire about the war in Syria. I’ve wanted to go theater since I came here, so it was really cool to get to do that and sink my teeth into really exciting and kind of offbeat.

CB: Digging back into your past, I want to ask about your role in season four of “Supernatural.” What do you remember about that time of the show?

MLJ: Oh man, I think I was 16 back then. A woman in high school was so jealous because I had a bathing suit scene with a woman on it. It wasn’t sexual at all, but I just remember it bugging her. I liked that show. I watched it quite a bit seeing that it was shot in Vancouver where I was growing up. A lot of friends of mine have been on the show over the years; sometimes even twice. It’s been going on so long that they kind of recycle actors that haven’t been seen in maybe 10 years. I’d like to go back and do another episode, but it’s been conflicting times, unfortunately. It was a great time. I worked with Jensen Ackles and the other actress Amy Gumenick. That was a fun episode when Dean got to go back in the past and I was leading him to one of the clues of the Yellow-eyed Demon. It was fun. I remember I had to put on a really thick Kansas accent, and the director was like that’s great, that’s great, just scale it back.

CB: So you were born in London and live in Vancouver. Walk your fans through how you caught the acting bug, and when did you move to Vancouver?

MLJ: Yeah, my parents were both English and they both immigrated to Canada a year after I was born. I am still trying to remember. I took some classes when I was pretty young, 10 years old or less, my parents thought I had a flair for the dramatic with tantrums, and they thought it was a good way to let out some energy, and I remember really liking it. I remember I got my first agent when I was doing gymnastics, and I found this flyer in my locker that they wanted young gymnasts for a commercial, so I did a bunch of intense goofy scenes, and I got it, and it was my first audition and I got it. It started when I was about 11, so I was quite young.

CB: You’ve had some great roles.

 
MLJ: I’ve been really fortunate to work pretty consistently. Through high school, I did normal high school stuff. I was by no means home schooled living in the Oakwood Apartments in LA or anything like that. I did theater and played Rugby, and I was a pretty normal kid. Following high school I went traveling for a while, and I went to a university in Montreal, and then I had planned to go to theater school, but then another role came up in a film that I couldn’t turn down, that led me to a manager in Los Angeles, and then I relocated down here.

 
CB: So many of my readers are sci-fi and comic fans so I have a couple of questions for you:

1.) If you could be any superhero, who would it be and why?

Well, I kind of like the DC world right now, I find it a little more edgy and exciting. I love the darkness around Batman. I love that he’s kind of a guy that has a lot of baggage, and he doesn’t come out goofy. He has a lot of melancholy to him, and some sad part of me relates to that, so I’d say Batman.

2.) What is the first Sci-fi film that you loved as a kid?

I broke the VHS player re-watching “Star Wars,” I knew every line. I think every kid did. I could draw a map of the solar system in which they existed. The first three are my favorites. The next three; I couldn’t connect to them much, but the first three “A New Hope” to “Return of the Jedi” I loved those. I’d watch them all the time.

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