CENTER STAGE: ‘Y&R’s’ Max Ehrich Dishes On Drama, Boy Bands and Beyond - Soap Opera Network
Interviews

John Paschal/JPI Studios

John Paschal/JPI Studios

If you think you’ve got “’” (Fenmore Baldwin) figured out, think again. Soap Opera Network recently caught up with the young actor, and he’s definitely more than meets the eye!

In a cozy, dimly lit dressing room above the “Y&R” sets, Ehrich sits with his arms atop his knees in a cool, rock star style pose and opens up about how he absolutely loves feeling totally out of control. “One of the standout memories [I’ve had at ‘Y&R’] was the New Year episode, where Fenmore caught Jamie and Summer kissing, and I came in and exploded and just lost my mind,” he shares. “As an actor, it’s fun when you’re out of control, and you don’t even know you’re acting. Like, literally, you just escape. And I got to feel that. And I’ve had numerous times on this show where I’ve gotten to be out of control, and it’s a really nice feeling. It’s exhilarating.”

Howard Wise/JPI Studios

Howard Wise/JPI Studios

But it’s not exactly an easy state of mind to achieve, which is why the actor has certain tricks he uses to get ready for soap-typical emotional scenes. “I’m a Yogi, so I’ll do what’s called a Breath of Fire,” he shares, adding that he also gives himself plenty of solo time. “If I had a scene right now, we probably wouldn’t be able to do this interview, because I convince myself so intensely of my imagination that I can’t even separate the world,” he says. “I can’t deal with things that I have to do as Max, because I want to give the most I can to the performance. So afterward, I can take care of myself. But it’s also a nice escape. It’s nice to be out of your world and actually truthfully play another person.”

Another trick the actor uses is music. “I listen to a lot of music, and it gets me into a mindset,” he shares. “A lot of times, I’ll just play really sad songs or really exciting songs, whatever the emotion of the day calls for, and I try to use it as the soundtrack in my head.”

Recently, the actor has been relying on and to help bring him to Fenmore’s headspace. But it’s possible he’ll be able to someday use his own music: Ehrich recently started a band (called Infinity) with his buddies , and ! “Being in a band, you get to feed off each other’s energies and come together and create,” he says of why he wanted to start the group, which is in the very beginning stages of making music. “I moved out here to be an actor. But I do love performing, so if I could do both worlds, that would be amazing.”

WATCH MAX EHRICH AND BANDMATES COVERING RIHANNA’S “STAY”:

So it’s no surprise that, when asked about something “Y&R” should do more of in the future, Ehrich’s answer is to include more music in the show. “They have a great storyline that’s coming up for me, but I think incorporating music somehow… would be an element that the show doesn’t have,” he says. “This show covers everything, so there’s really not much, but that’s one thing it doesn’t have… and it might happen, so we’ll see.”

As far as how long he’s been musical, the New Jersey native says for as long as he can remember. “Literally, if you ask my parents, I was putting on shows when I was like two, three, four,” he shares. “I directed ‘Grease’ in my kindergarten class. I started doing community theater when I was six, and then I went to performing arts camp. And then, when I was 15, I was like, ‘I’ve got to get the hell out of New Jersey!’”

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

He did, and his girlfriend at the time — “’s” — convinced him to get an agent, which then led to roles in “Ugly Betty” and “High School Musical 3.” “I’m a Cancer. I just feel really intensely all of the time. So I use those emotions, and [performing] is a good outlet for those emotions that I experience every day,” he says of being on stage, adding that he really can’t picture himself doing anything else. “I live like an artist. My brain is literally wired to say, ‘You cannot do anything but be an artist.’”

John Paschal/JPI Studios

John Paschal/JPI Studios

So it’s a good thing “Y&R” is keeping him busy, and it’s a job the young actor is thankful for every day. “We really are really close, like genuinely close, which is really cool,” he says of his castmates, specifically his onscreen parents (Lauren Fenmore) and (Michael Baldwin). “Sometimes, I’m like, so mean to them onscreen, and I’m so sorry afterwards. I think after the first time I screamed at them, I apologized. And Tracey was like, ‘You’re acting!’ and I was like, ‘I know! But it still felt weird!’ But it’s so cool, because this is really like a family.”

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