When Max Irons turned 17, his parents issued him the following warning: a career in film is brutal, filled with paranoia, jealousy, and financial potholes. They were, he was told, the exceptions to the rule. “Don’t look at us and think it will necessarily be the same for you,” he says, recalling their sound advice. “99.9% of actors are unemployed, or are employed, but not as they’d like. Look at them more than you look at us.” Like any self-respecting teenager, Irons ignored their wisdom. “When they saw I was serious about acting,” he says, “they backed off.”
But it was director Catherine Hardwicke—a connoisseur of smoldering Brits—who gave Irons his true break when the Twilight director cast him in Red Riding Hood, her CGI-enhanced retelling of the classic folktale. As the blacksmith Henry, Irons is one part of a love triangle that features a woodcutter (Shiloh Fernandez) and the title character, played by Amanda Seyfried. As a result, before anyone has even seen his performance, Irons has been busy in meetings with studio bigwigs. Is he ready for his close-up? “You can’t get hypnotized by someone offering you a lot of money or saying they’ll make you famous,” he says. “None of the photo shoots, parties, and flattery means anything. You have to remind yourself that what you do is act, and that’s all that matters.”
Check out the entire interview here.