Max Brown is the latest Brit actor to land a role on US television, having made his name on homegrown dramas such as The Tudors and Spooks. He stars as medical examiner Evan Marks in Beauty and the Beast. OTB caught up with him to discuss how he landed the part and to find out what’s in store for his character over the course of the series…
How did you become involved with Beauty and the Beast?
I went to LA last year for my first pilot season, which was pretty intimidating. I auditioned for between three to five pilots a day, which was an intense process. Beauty and the Beast was something that kept coming back and I auditioned a second time.
The competition for roles must have been huge…
It’s different to the UK where they might audition up to ten actors for a role, in America it’s more like hundreds for each part. So it was a great achievement to be whittled down to the last three for the screen test, where you meet the studio and audition in front of about forty people in a room. It was fantastic to get the part. Then we shot the pilot in Toronto, and had to wait for a while to hear if the series had been picked up, so I was lucky on all counts.
Your role on the show must have raised your profile over there…
Certainly being on a TV show in America has raised my profile, though it’s not as if they hadn’t seen The Tudors or Spooks. Fingers crossed it’ll make the next job easier to get though!
How did you prepare for your role as a doctor (Evan Marks) and potential love interest for Cat, having become accustomed to playing villains?
I hadn’t played a nice guy in quite a while actually! There’s more of myself in this character than others, although they wrote him as more of a playboy than I ever was. In preparation for the role of Evan I was lucky enough to speak to Michael Baden, who’s one of the most famous medical examiners in the world – he worked on the OJ Simpson case. I spoke to him for a couple of hours on the phone just wanting to really get into the mindset of an M.E.. It was interesting for me to discover what motivated him to get into it and the relationships he had with judges, police and authority figures.
How do you see Evan developing over the series?
I think Evan’s role will develop over the series as all the evidence compiled over the series goes through him. As the Beast gets more and more involved in cases Evan starts to find traces of him. I think the series for Evan is about his journey discovering the beast and confiding in Cat and maybe exposing their relationship somehow.
How does working in the US compare to the UK?
They’re pretty similar; the only difference I find here is that they will shoot until they finish the day. In England if the shooting is overrunning it will usually get postponed and put on the following day. In America they shoot until they’ve finished the day, so you don’t have normal working hours. They’ll shoot until one o’clock in the morning if it’s needed sometimes.
Beauty and the Beast continues tonight at 9pm on Watch, where it can be found every Wednesday.