Discovery: Max Fowler

There is something unsettling about Max Fowler’s character in The Killing. Upon meeting him in the second episode of the third season, one gets the feeling that his existence will only lead to bad things: bad things happening to him; bad things happening because of him. Named Twitchâ??bad omen number oneâ??Fowler’s character is part of a group of street kids (omen number two) in Seattle. He has an unremarkably pretty girlfriend, Lyric, whom another runaway, Bullett, would like to be dating (three). Currently on parole (four), Twitch has aspirations of becoming a model/actor in Hollywood (five). He is content to let Lyric sell her body and use the money to buy hair mousse for his headshots (six, seven, and eight).  “I can’t say too much about plotlines, but it is The Killing…” Fowler tells us over the phone.

Born in Britain, Fowler’s family is immersed in the arts. Both of his siblings work in the film industry; brother Beau as a writer, director, and fight choreographer, and sister Francesca as an actress. His father is the celebrity photographer Simon Fowler and his mother Karen a former dancer. Shot in Vancouver, The Killing is Fowler first American role. His next project is Tokarev, starring Nicholas Cage and Danny Glover.

HOMETOWN: Twickenham, England

AGE: 22

CURRENT LOCATION: Vancouver, British Columbia

WHAT’S IN A NAME? I actually have three middle namesâ??Maximillian Raymond Tymon Raphael Fowler. Raymond is a great-grandfather of mine who was in the war, Tymon was a good friend of my dad’s, and then Raphael, honestly, was after the ninja turtleâ??my brother was 10 when I was born. My sister was the one who gave me the name Max; she was five, and she used to watch this cartoon called Fantastic Max. I don’t know at what point my parents decided to call me Maximillian. That was a bit of a curve ball. [laughs] Fran was furious, but we moved on. I am named after two cartoons. That’s why cartoons mean a lot to me.

A FAMILY BUSINESS: When I was little, the idea of being onstage was terrifying; I could never fathom that.  But I always loved film, and I remember a point when I was 10 [that] it kind of hit me, “I would love to do that.” I think it helps having the whole family involved, because we would make short films and I would get used to being in front of the camera. My first role was probably a short film I did with my brother called Holy Cow! I’m shockingly bad. My girlfriend made me watch it [recently]â??I hadn’t seen it for five yearsâ??and I haven’t cringed that hard in a long time. At the time, I thought it was incredible.

THE ART OF ACTING: At the beginning of 2012, I got a coach. I had never had any formal training and she completely turned everything roundâ??taught me all the fundamental rules that are there for a reason. Now, when I watch myself, it’s still never easy, but I know exactly what I’m looking for. I’m not just watching myself and going, “Oh, God. That’s my face.”

WHO KILLED ROSIE LARSEN? I had never seen [The Killing]. I’m much more of a film guy; when someone tells me about a great show, I’ll watch it on Netflix or get the DVD and watch it in one go rather than on TV. My character had nothing to do with the last two seasons, so I didn’t want to watch it until I felt quite settled into the job. I knew it would make me more nervous if I watched it; I didn’t want to get on the set and be like, “Oh, my God, it’s them!” I wanted to stay focused and be in my element. After I had done four episodes, I decided to crack on with the [first] two series. I watched them in, like, four days. I was super impressed. I knew it was good, because everyone said it was good, but it was really, really good. I love how gritty it is and it feels very cinematicâ??like a spaced-out movie. I’ve got my girlfriend into it as well.

THE MOST DIFFICULT WORD TO SAY IN AN AMERICAN ACCENT: I stayed in the accent for a couple months. I probably didn’t need to for that long a time, but it just means you have less work to do when it comes to the actual filming. One thing I always struggled with was “girlfriend.” I think it’s just two “r”sâ??they end up blurring into this weird word that sounds like a big “r.” My girlfriend is actually out here visiting. For the most part, I’m just talking in my normal accent, but a couple days before filming I’ll talk in American just to get the rhythm back. She’s cool with that. She’s understanding.

THE HOMELESS TEENAGED COMMUNITY: Any big city I’ve been to, it’s very apparent in certain areas. I feel like [The Killing] is just bringing to [it] light; I don’t think it’s to say Seattle has a special problem. It’s something that when you live in a big city, you just get so used to seeing it. Even being in Vancouver, there’s been a few nights where I’ve been out and caught the night bus home and I’ve seen a whole bunch of street kids. I’ve seen numerous young kids who look about 15, 16, who are definitely homeless and just wandering. It’s quite shocking to see; it’s not so apparent in the day. I didn’t go up to them and try and do any recon or anything. There was one boy who helped me out because I was a bit lost. I had only been in Vancouver for a few weeks at this point, so he helped me get home. We were talking and it came up. From how he was dressed and his general persona, he looked like he wasn’t in a good way, but I was surprised. It came up very abruptly. It’s quite a shock to the systemâ??he seemed so young.

SPIDERMAN, SPIDERMAN: I’m a huge Spiderman fan. It’s weird. When Andrew Garfield was cast, I was a little bit bummed, but I think he just absolutely destroyed it and did such an amazing job. I would never want to go near it anymore. Even if they remade it and they were like, “Do you want to do it?” I think I would be too scared to fill Andrew’s boots. What do I think of Tobey Maguire? I was obsessed with those films when they first came out. I do like him, [but] I’m going to give the edge to Andrew Garfield. He’s just an unbelievable actor. He’s just in another league.

THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT: I feel like, as times are moving forward, lead actors in movies are becoming more serious. There are [fewer] film stars who are pretty much the same in every movie these daysâ??every character is very much a character, and the actors playing them are really committing. Look at Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper and Andrew Garfield. The standards have risen; it’s inspiring. Not just male actors, female actors too, like Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain.

UP NEXT: A film called Tokarevâ??it’s a new Nicolas Cage movie. I’ve just been auditioning while I’m out here. It takes seven days to shoot an episode and I’ll have maybe two, three days at most on each episode I’m in. Originally I was meant to go in to L.A. for a chemistry read. It was between me and six other guys, but I was filming The Killing so I couldn’t go. I just assumed it wouldn’t go my way, obviously, and then I got a phone call.