You may know Max Burkholder from his role on NBC’s Parenthood, but, next Friday, the world will get to see him portray 16-year-old John Bennett—the character Mark Wahlberg played—in Seth McFarlane’s Ted prequel series on Peacock. The project takes place in 1993 and, as the 26-year-old Burkholder shared with us, stepping into that role takes some serious skill with getting the skin care, makeup and hair game “just right.”
I think there’s something for everyone in this series—both the people who love the movies, and people who may be brand-new to it. It’s really, really funny. It’s true to the original movies, but then there’s also this new family dynamic that gets introduced. We focus a lot on Ted, for sure, but then there’s also Blaire, and there’s my parents, and all of their relationships with each other. The whole dynamic really grounds the show and gives a little something for everyone.
Was there anything that you really enjoyed about the project while you were filming?
I really enjoyed getting to improvise with some of the best to ever do it. Scott, Alanna and Giorgia are so funny. We also were lucky that we got to have Seth on-set every day doing the voice of the bear—that meant that that really specific comedic timing that’s unique to his stuff was doable. We got to bounce ideas off of each other. There was always space to have fun and play around and do an extra take if you felt like there was something funny that didn’t quite land right.
I know you’re doing a lot of press for it. Can you share what you’re using skin care and hair-care wise?
In terms of skin care, both while we were shooting and during the promotional stuff, I don’t think it’s a secret that everyone in Hollywood wears makeup. I had to wear a bit heavier makeup than usual while we were shooting, because no matter how much of a clean shave I got, there was a darkness and an amount of stubble that had to be covered for me to be believably 16 years old! That meant covering the stubble and then doing a full face of makeup to match the color of the colored stubble down to my neck.
It was really important to get all that makeup properly removed and to cleanse my skin. I use the Lancer products. That’s the dermatologist I’ve been going to since I was a teenager and first starting to get trouble spots and acne. So, being consistent with that was super important for this. It’s always important. I know that I’m not as consistent with it as I would like in order to have that perfectly glowing, dewy skin, but yes, I have a routine.
Also, for other guys out there, it’s so super important to do proper skin care when you shave—especially for me. I’ve got sensitive skin. If I don’t properly cleanse and moisturize before and after shaving, I’ll break out with razor burn and bumps everywhere.
I think a lot of people think of your curly hair when they think of you. What do you use on that?
I think people with curly hair 100-percent will get this: It depends on the day! It depends on the humidity. It depends on the last time that I washed it. In general, I find the Brazilian blowout products to be really good with taming down a little bit of frizz, especially when it’s humid out. It keeps things a little tighter, but also still piecey.
Every time I get my hair wet, or especially when I wash it, I’ll use some type of argan oil in it once it’s mostly dry. That helps with keeping the curls tamed a little bit. In the past, I’ve gotten keratin treatments for the press stuff that I’ve been doing for Ted. I’ve also been getting it blown out a few days in advance so that it has not a stick straight, but almost wavier appearance, when I have to be on-camera.
I know you’ve also been doing this job since you were very young. Is there ever a time fans come up to you on the street and they are shocked a little kid anymore?
Constantly. I don’t get recognized from Parenthood as much as I used to, but when people do recognize me, they are pretty shocked that I am a full-grown human adult person. Recently, someone recognized me from Daddy Day Care, which was wild—that was from when I was like three years old. That was insane.
That’s funny. Is there anything else you’re excited about just for the new year besides the show coming out or any other projects in this year?
The strike put a big dig on people having things to look forward to in terms of upcoming projects, but I’m very happy that the strike is over. I’m happy that we got a good deal. I’m an actor. I love to act. I love to work and I’m very excited at the opportunities in the future where I’m going to be able to ply my trade again—it’s my favorite thing.
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