Max stars as John Bennett in Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” prequel series, a hilarious origin story about the boy who wished his teddy-bear to life.
If there's a New Year's tradition that I love, it's checking out the movie releases for the coming months. It never fails to make me excited for what's to come, and this year, I'm particularly thrilled that we're getting such great stuff early on. Especially, the prequel series "Ted," starring Seth MacFarlane and Max Burkholder. If you enjoyed the movie as much as I did, you need to mark your calendar for this Peacock series, which premieres on January 11th. It takes place in the early '90s, with Max bringing Mark Wahlberg's character from the movies to life. As Ted, his talking teddy bear and best friend, helps Max's character navigate his teenage years.
The trailer was enough to reel me in. Having such a promising comedy this early in the year is a treat, especially considering the much-needed renaissance that prequels are experiencing. Ahead of the release of the series, I got to chat with Max about working with Seth MacFarlane, the challenges of having a fictional co-star, and more.
Hector: When I first heard Seth was doing a TED series, I was sold. Were you fan of the movies before you got the role?
Max: Of course, I was! I’ve been a huge fan of everything Seth’s made since I was little. I grew up doing voices for the sitcom, Family Guy, so I’ve been exposed to that sense of humor since I was way too little for it to be appropriate. It’s actually because of working on family guy that I was at the table read for the first Ted movie, playing the creepy little kid character. So, in a way I guess you could say that I’ve been a fan of the Ted movies before they even came out.
HG: Just from the trailer alone, I can tell it’s going to hilarious. I’d love to know your favorite memory from set. I bet there were so many good moments behind the scenes.
MB: It’s really hard to pick just one! Each cast member, including Seth, is ungodly hilarious, but also kind and welcoming. I’d say a memory that comes to mind immediately is that one day we all decided that we were just going to try and scare Giorgia all day, so we were hiding behind doors and under chairs to pop out and scream at an opportune moment. She’s really easy to scare, too, so that was a lot of fun. In general, though, every day was a blast.
HG: While Seth voices Ted, it must have been challenging to film with a co-star that’s not actually there. What was that experience like?
MB: It was definitely a challenge at first. 95% of my scenes are with Ted, and in the beginning, it was really difficult to imagine him there, especially if he was (theoretically) moving around. After the first few weeks though, it got to the point where I could almost sort of hallucinate him being there on command. Even as I’m writing this right now, I can look over at my couch and picture him sitting there and know exactly where I need to look for the proper eye-line. I do have to say that it would have been way more difficult had Seth not been there in person doing Ted’s lines, and it certainly would’ve been impossible to do any kind of improv with Ted.
HG: I gotta say, I'm also such a huge fan of The Purge, which is so different from this project. Is there a genre, whether in films or TV, that you enjoy doing the most?
MB: I love it all, to be honest. I’m certainly lucky that my first foray into professional comedic work was on such an incredible project like this. Whether it’s comedy, drama, horror, or what have you, there’s always something in it creatively that you don’t get to express in any other genre. It’s the same when discussing film/TV versus theatre, which I would love the opportunity to do professionally someday. It’s tough picking a favorite because each medium and genre has something in it that you can’t find anywhere else. In the future I’d love to work on as many distinct and different projects as possible. That’s part of what makes acting so fun and addictive, there’s a million parts out there and each one is a uniquely interesting experience.