The Young and the Restless Max Ehrich (Fen) will be seen like you have never seen before in his upcoming role that airs next week on NBC’s hit drama series: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit! (Wednesday night, October 22nd at 9PMET/PT) In the episode, Max plays a college student who is accused of sexually assaulting a female student in a scenario that mirrors many of the real life stories you read or hear about in the news on a regular basis … the ugly side of what can happen on college campuses.
On-Air On-Soaps had the opportunity to chat with Max to get the low down on his upcoming character in the gritty and emotional episode! Plus, the young star shares his thoughts on his other primetime television role and success as Hunter on the recently concluded first season of CBS’ Under the Dome, which was also just renewed!
Finally, the Daytime Emmy nominated performer reveals what it has been like taping scenes again as Fen Baldwin on the number one soap opera, and what Fen’s relationship with his parents, Lauren and Michael are at this juncture, and what he would like to happen for the loveless young member of the Baldwin clan. Here’s what Max shared below!
So, this is a turn for you … playing a “rapist” on Law & Order: SVU. What is the story set-up? It seems to be a ripped-from-the-headlines important topic!
MAX: The name of the episode is entitled: “Pornstar’s Requiem” and I play the character of Daniel Pryor. This is his first time raping someone. Daniel is in college right now and he is in the experimental face of sexually activity. He watches this porn, and he sees there is a girl on it that is from his class. He invites her to a party and he thinks she is just like she is in the video, and he takes advantage. The whole controversy of the episode is my character is defending himself by saying she did the same things in the video that she did in real life. So, how was he supposed to know the difference? So, it’s a bit of a tricky situation. The thing about it was… even though the day we were filming the rape scene, there was part of me that thought we wouldn’t have to go very far with it. It is such a topic that needs to be presented, and it feels like this episode is a tool to get the word out there … about the common occurrence of it.
When did you actually film Law & Order: SVU? How was the experience? Did you get to work with series star Mariska Hargitay?
MAX: I filmed it three weeks ago, and it was quite the experience. I did have a few courtroom scenes with Mariska Hargitay. She was very warm and kind to everyone, and there was no ego to her. She loves what she does. The show has been on for 16 seasons. You just never know what you are going to run into with a show that has been running a long time. No one was phoning it in. The girl I had the rape scenes with, Hannah Marks, I have known for years. That made the whole experience a bit more comfortable. Being on the stand, one of the actresses said, “This is your reel. These scenes are what you are going to put on your next reel.” It is quite extensive, because each courtroom scene takes about six hours. You have to film the people, the jury, the witnesses, and then you film the person on the stand, then you film the judge! There are so many key characters that need their coverage. It’s definitely not like filming a soap opera.
Under the Dome is a hit for CBS and it has been renewed! How was that experience for you playing savvy tech nerd wiz, Hunter? Where were things left in the first season finale? Will you be returning for season two?
MAX: Under the Dome was an awesome experience. At the end of the season, we find an underground tunnel and we don’t know where it is leading to. The wall starts to break down and we hit a dead end, and the wall starts crumbling. You see a character, who we thought died, and got sucked into the earth! She then says something along the lines of “We’re going home!” No one knows what she is talking about, or how she is alive. There are a lot of questions that will hopefully be answered in the next season. The show has been renewed, and I would love to go back. I have not heard anything yet.
You play opposite series lead, Mike Vogel on Under the Dome! How has it been working with him? The two of you have such an interesting dynamic!
MAX: It was great working with Mike, and we had a crazy introduction. We met, and then they said, “OK, Mike you are going lift Max up and throw him into the wall!” (Laughs) He is great to work of off. There is sort of a Batman & Robin team going on with them in the first few episodes … he is like the tough guy … and I was like the nerdy sidekick! (Laughs)
You are a very in demand guy right now! You also are set to appear in a new series on Nickelodeon?
MAX: Yes! It’s called “100 Things to Do Before High School” and it comes out in January. I play the older brother of an 8th grader who is finding out that high school is not as fun as it seems. So she decides to do 100 adventures before she goes to high school, and her older brother, tells her these horror stories about how horrible it is studying for the SAT and homework, and all that stuff. It’s a single camera comedy and heartfelt, and a special show. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s a cool show. I guess I am funny in it, because people were laughing! (Laughs) I was a bit confused when I got cast in the part, because I never really thought of myself as funny. So I was wondering … why I got this role. (Laughs)
And as for your soap home on The Young and the Restless, you recently started back filming some new episodes as Fen! Where is the character at emotionally at this point? Do you see him being there to support Michael (Christian LeBlanc) and Lauren (Tracey E. Bregman) in times of trouble?
MAX: I filmed the first two episodes of Fen coming back about a month and half ago, and then I filmed again last week, and then I go back in a few weeks. So it’s been a bit a bit spread out. He makes quick visits home, and I will be on-screen for Thanksgiving and such. As far as in story, I think he is growing up in all regards. I think there is a sense of maturity to him and it seeps into his relationship with both Lauren and Michael. He is taking responsibility for his actions in a big way. College has been really good for him. I think he will be there for his family now, if anything were to go wrong. I think he is the kind of kid that would stay home until everything is OK. What I have realized on Y&R is when things are going good, it’s not as interesting to play. You want a little drama going on, so it will be nice to do that.
Will Fen finally have a romantic relationship of his own?
MAX: I have no idea! He was in love with Summer (Hunter King), or it least he was. I think there could be a lot of conflict there in that relationship. But, I don’t think Fen is a homewrecker. I think a romantic relationship would be great, and it would spice things up for him.
Now below, watch a preview for next week’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit featuring Max in the key role of Daniel Pryor! How do you think the episode will play out? Will Daniel be found guilty of the crime of rape? Or is the accuser really innocent?
The let us know: if you have been enjoying Max on Under the Dome? If you are hoping there is a romantic interest for Fen Baldwin in the near future on Y&R? And if you plan on checking out Law & Order: SVU next week?