Details: Having spent time on your dad's sets while growing up, did you experience any culture shock when you got into acting yourself?
Max Minghella: I've always loved being on sets. You've got a hundred people together who've never met before suddenly working under incredibly challenging circumstances. There aren't really very many jobs that are like that. But I didn't anticipate how little I understood about the actors. I mean, I had no idea what an actor's routine was. That was all very new to me—call times, marks, and all that stuff.
Details: You didn't always want to act, did you?
Max Minghella: No, definitely not. I thought it was sort of embarrassing to say you wanted to be an actor—it was, like, uncool. And growing up I was massively concerned with seeming cool. I thought up until about age 16 that I was going to be a music-video director.
Details: How hard was it to deal with the nepotism thing, real or perceived?
Max Minghella: It felt like a burden when I first started. I mean, I just hadn't done anything—I really had no experience—and so everybody's assumption was that somebody made a phone call, which wasn't the case. And I don't think CAA is signing anybody's son anyway. I realized very quickly that nobody gave a fuck—that if I was going to get anywhere, it really was going to be on my own back.
Details: I saw a photo of you with Divya Narendra, whom you play in The Social Network. How strange was it to meet him?
Max Minghella: We're basically the same age, which is bizarre. The time period in which I'm playing Divya is one of massive frustration for him, so in the movie, he is not happy and he's fairly aggressive. But he turns out to be the nicest, coolest guy in real life.
Details: Are you on Facebook?
Max Minghella: I was, in college. It was an intrinsic part of the experience. Professors would post homework assignments, so it was pretty necessary. That was in 2005, only one year after Facebook was started, which is pretty amazing—it's so crazy how recent it was. But it didn't really suit me. I quite like being a hibernator. It isn't really my personality to be a social networker.
Details: Do you think you'll eventually direct?
Max Minghella: Yeah, probably. Oh God, I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to. I guess now nobody has an excuse, do they? You've got access to cameras, and you've got iMovie. I'd like to at some point, but to be honest, every time I do a film, I realize how much I have to learn as an actor. I'm such an infant as an actor, and I want to grow up before I start jumping into too much.
Details: The movie you're shooting now,The Darkest Hour, is a thriller, which is very different from the stuff you've done in the past.
Max Minghella: It is, but in certain ways it's much closer to my sensibility. I'm basically a big genre fan. These are the kinds of movies I get excited to see every weekend. If I got the opportunity to do a Michael Bay film, I would. Plus, this is the first time I've played a character who is similar to myself.
Details: So what's this doppelgänger character like?
Max Minghella: He's somebody who comes across as more serious than he really is.
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