Maxim Swinton is about as talented as they come as a younger actor in Hollywood. Appearing in numerous shorts, films, and television throughout his short career, he's featured in several higher profile projects, including the Netflix limited series Halston, ABC TV movie Adopted, and currently stars in FX's Fleishman Is in Trouble and AppleTV+ film Raymond & Ray opposite Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke. Swinton spoke with Bleeding Cool about the FX series playing Solly Fleishman, the son of Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg). Toby is divorced from Rachel (Claire Danes) after 15 years and shares custody of their children but tries to rediscover himself in the dating scene while losing perspective to examine why his marriage failed.
How 'Fleishman Is in Trouble' Is a Golden Opportunity.
Bleeding Cool: What intrigued you about 'Fleishman Is in Trouble?'
Swinton: My mom screened the parts I could read. When I read the script, I got a feel for it and realized I wanted to play the character because it's like my life. I live on like the outskirts of New York City but go in there every day. It's fun to play a character that loves science because I haven't done that a lot. It was fun to have science experiments on set, and I love quantum physics like my character Solly. It is so fun because it explains the universe and in Marvel, like the Pym particles. I know they're not true, but it's also "quantum physics."
What is it like working with Jesse and Claire on set?
It was so much fun. Jesse loves geography, and I always would ask him trivia questions like "What's the capital of Kiribati?" That was the only one he's ever got wrong, except for a Papua New Guinea. He couldn't get Port Moresby but asked what the capital of Kiribati was, and he said, "I don't know." I told him the answer is Tarawa. He knew all the other ones. That's pretty cool.
How do you compare 'Fleishman' to other projects?
It's the longest project I've ever done. I've never done a six-month one and maybe done one-to-two-month ones in the past. I worked on 'While We're Young' for two months. It was fun, but I got to know everybody well and did this other show called 'Adopted,' which was about this Russian orphan. It only shot for a week because this comedy pilot they go so fast, 30 minutes. I also did this other thing called 'Little Big Shots,' which allows you to show a cool talent. I built a Rube Goldberg machine, and that was two weeks.
Did you work with anyone on the Rube Goldberg machine?
I worked on it with my dad, who was my helper. For the bigger one, I needed a lot of help because I couldn't build that myself. That would have been impossible to do. There is a construction worker to help us get all the pieces up while I designed the Rube Goldberg machine. That was fun, and they had to do a lot of tweaking. For my submission video, I took my little LEGO robot and made it pull out an axle that set the whole contraption off.
What's the biggest thing you learned from being on set around veteran actors?
I learned from Jesse that you should always take a break right before you start when you start the scene because you can think about something else, and it gets in the way during filming. You can't go from being really happy and asking a few questions to suddenly crying and being devastated. I learned sometimes you try to take a five-second break or 15-second break before the scene so you can relax your brain.