To the Max

Pictured: (L-R) Harvey, Fee and Foo in new animated series, HARVEY BEAKS, coming to Nickelodeon in 2015. 
Photo Credit:  Nickelodeon. ©2015 Viacom International, Inc.  All Rights Reserved. Pictured: (L-R) Harvey, Fee and Foo in new animated series, HARVEY BEAKS, coming to Nickelodeon in 2015. Photo Credit:  Nickelodeon. ©2015 Viacom International, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Dayton-grown pint-sized actor voices new Nickelodeon cartoon

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: Harvey Beaks and his friends Fee and Foo on the Nickelodeon show Harvey Beaks; image courtesy of Nickelodeon

Max Charles is a little guy with a big career. At just 11 years old, the Oakwood native has already acted for the big screen and small, from playing roles in blockbusters to voicing cartoon characters, and has been involved in projects intended for all different types of audiences. Some of the many projects he’s been had roles in include “The Amazing Spiderman” 1 and 2, HBO’s True Blood, “The Neighbors,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” The Legend of Korra, and “American Sniper.”

Most recently, Charles has been working hard voicing the title character for Nickelodeon’s animated series, Harvey Beaks, as well as filming the second season of FX’s thriller The Strain, which has Max taking over the role of character Zach Goodweather, formerly played by Ben Hyland.

Harvey Beaks, which aired its first episode earlier this year, tells the story of a mild-mannered young bird, who runs into mischief with his bird-friends.

“Harvey’s the kind of kid that likes to go on a lot of adventures, but he’s also really neat and nice,” Max says over the phone from Los Angeles, his home since 2009. “Fee and Foo are his two best friends and they really push him to go on a lot of cool adventures with them.”

Charles, who strikes me as a polite kind of guy himself, says he sees a little bit of himself in the Harvey Beaks character.

“I mean, I like my room clean and that kind of stuff, and I like to do a lot of the same stuff,” he says.

Having acted in so many different types of projects, Charles has proven that even at his young age, he is truly a well-rounded and versatile performer. He is able to jump from horror to sci-fi to drama to comedy, and performs in shows and movies for both kids and grown-ups.

“I like to just do a bunch of different things and just switch it up, and ya know, just do a lot of different stuff,” he says.

Working for Nickelodeon is surely any kid’s dream job. Charles says he loves doing voice acting for the long-running kid’s cable network.

“It’s awesome!” he exclaims. “They’re all really nice there and it’s fun doing it, and everyone’s so nice when we do the recording. I was actually there today. I was actually working on Harvey right before I came here.”

He says that when he does films and TV for adults, “I think it’s more serious and that kind of thing, but I like to do that kind of thing like Johnny Depp does, how he does different kinds of roles and a bunch of different stuff so I think that’s what I want to do.”

I asked Max if his parents let him watch the scary shows and movies that are intended for adult audiences, or if they’re going to make him wait until he gets older. “I get to watch some of them,” he says. “Some of them, I get to watch my clips from, but it depends.

“It’s really fun to do all of it. I’m working on The Strain right now. It’s on FX. It’s awesome. It’s really fun to do that, and it films up in Toronto. I really like the city up there.”

Though Max is definitely a professional who takes his work very seriously, he still takes time to be a kid. In addition to acting, he likes to do regular kid stuff like ride bikes, play video games and hang out with his three brothers Logan, Mason and Brock, who are also actors.

Though Charles was only six years old when he left the Buckeye State, he told me that he has memories of his time here. “I actually remember a lot,” he says. “Actually my favorite food is there.”

The young actor, who has traveled the world and undoubtedly eaten at many fine restaurants, says many of his favorite places to eat are tucked away right here in the Gem City.

“I like Ashley’s Pastries, Los Reyes, Skyline Chili and Marion’s Piazza,” he beams. “Those are like the best food places!”

He is also still able to come visit regularly.

“We were actually there for Mother’s Day,” he says. “Ya know, because my mom’s family is still there. So we visited and just hung out, and went to all my favorite food places.”

Max Charles can be seen on Nickelodeon’s Harvey Beaks, as well as FX’s The Strain. Check your local TV listings for more information.

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Josher Lumpkin at josherlumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Josher Lumpkin is a nursing student and aspiring historian who enjoys writing about music and geekdom of all kinds. He is especially fond of punk rock, tabletop gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and camping with his wife, Jenner, and their dogs, Katie and Sophie. Reach him at JosherLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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