Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going to the Max where the "Wild Things" are

It’s no understatement to suggest that Max Records dove into his portrayal of Max, the feisty little boy who goes “Where the Wild Things Are.” The leading role for the 12-year-old newcomer in Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s timeless book entailed getting inside the character — literally.
A climactic moment necessitates Max hiding within one of the Wild Things, the rational KW, life-animated by Alice Parkinson and voiced by Lauren Ambrose, late of cable HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” That’s right, within — as in Max scurrying into KW’s mouth and taking temporary refuge in her gooey insides.
Once safe, Max is pulled free by KW, covered head to toe in some less-than-desirable type of slop. “It was disgusting,” Records tells correspondent Stan Urankar. “I had this awful gel spread all over me. It felt like . . . well, you don’t want to know.”
Then, once was enough, right? Not quite. “We did film it once,” Jonze says, barely holding in a chuckle, “but something was not right in the shot. I told him, ‘We’re going to have to go again.’
“At first, Max wouldn’t do it, simply said, ‘No,’ and that was that. It was only after I promised that he could spread the goop all over me afterward that he relented.”
True to his word, the almost-40 but eternally childlike Jonze made for Records’s room to pay up. “He was so happy and I was so miserable,” Jonze says, no longer suppressing laughter. “It was good retribution.”
Read more from Stan about "Wild Things, including his review, right now at Sun News, where also you can also read my review of "Law Abiding Citizen."

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