” I love being forced to adapt to different surroundings. New languages, new cultures and new outlooks on life. The more I travel the more I realize how similar we all are.”
Canadian actor, Max Topplin, has taken his love for acting and pursued his career in theatre, television and film. Making his acting debut by starring as the role of Max in the reality show Ghost Trackers and more recently he is best known as one of the most recognisable associates in the USA Network legal drama, Suits.
Away from his on-screen roles, Max loves to travel and has a passion for photography. Having visited Haiti several times, Max has a strong attachment to the country and aims to bring about a better life for the good friends that he has made along the journey.
Take a read to gain an insight into Max’s experiences and find out the new and exciting projects he is currently working on!
Growing up, you had a lot of influence from your parents who were world adventurers and had a strong desire for travelling. What is it about traveling that you love and what does traveling do for you?
Traveling is my favorite thing in the world. I love being forced to adapt to different surroundings. New languages, new cultures and new outlooks on life. The more I travel the more I realize how similar we all are.
I also love to travel because nurtures story telling. Both in the community you are visiting and with society back home. Educating each other and helping us all understand our own lives and choices. There is so much we can all learn from each other.
Being the director of external affairs at LifePaths Global Alliance (Haiti), an organization that aims to provide health, education, and employment in rural areas in order to help them create a self-sufficient community. How was this whole experience for you?
I love Haiti. It’s always on my mind, every day.
I started visiting Haiti when I was 18, before the earthquake. I fell in love with the people. Who had the will to survive and thrive under such harsh conditions, yet still carrying themselves with pride, dignity, and generosity. I’ve seen children born, and growing a little more every time I visit. Some as old as 9 now, turning into real people, with dreams and hopes and a future. We’ve affected each other’s future, no doubt.
The human connection doesn’t need to have language/cultural barriers. It’s a special feeling.
You also realize who your real friends in life are. I’ve been given water, food, medicine, and clothing by grown men and women that can not afford this for themselves. Complete selflessness. I’m incredibly grateful to call them my friends.
How did the idea of becoming an actor come about and what has been the most rewarding part of your acting journey?
I started doing Theater when I was 6. I started with Magic and realized I loved having an audience… and charging for performances. Haha. I thought if you could make a living by entertaining people?!? What’s better than that. I loved the idea of not needing to pick a ‘job’. I wanted to play a pilot, a cop, a garbage man. I wanted to try every job. To a six-year-old, this seemed like the most well-rounded future.
The most rewarding part of the job is once you’ve gotten through the auditions. Through the call backs and meetings. Once the business is taken care of, the craft can really flourish. I love nothing more than surrendering on set and becoming a completely different person. Seeing the world differently, then I would. It’s a wonderful escape. The high of acting is a real thing.
As well as acting in front of the camera, you also enjoy standing behind it. Having a passion for photography, exactly what is it that you want to say through your photos?
I love street photography. I love having an opinion and spawning a reaction within my audience. I always hope that each photograph allows viewers to question their own lives. Be grateful for what they have and not to take anything for granted. I also love to bring awareness to issues that matter to me. My camera is always around my neck in Haiti. People need to see the happiness and beauty of people born into such harsh conditions. I hope people see that and make radical changes in their own lives.
In the US legal drama, Suits, you play the role of Harold Gunderson. He is a genuine guy that cares, but unfortunately, that’s why he gets into a lot of mess in the world of suits. Who is your favourite character from Suits and why?
I love Louis. I owe a lot to Rick Hoffman for pushing me always as Harold. He never let me take the easy way out. We kept it fresh and had some sort of improv within each scene. He’s an incredible actor. A veteran. Honor to share the screen with him. The whole cast is pretty damn incredible.
‘Almost Anything’ has been your most recent work. It is a film that you both helped to produce and starred in. How did the idea of this project come about?
Almost Anything is a film that was born on a single night. A group of friends got together and decided we wanted to make a film. So we all wrote the script over the course of 2 weeks. Got some money and crew together and went on a road trip to Palm Springs California. We shot the film in less than 10 days. Incredible experience. That said it’s taken almost 2 years to get he film released nationwide. Making the film is one thing. Selling and distributing it is another. Really proud of what we did. Check it out if you can!
And finally, what are your own plans for the future?
Keeping the Hustle alive!
I have 4 films I’m currently producing and a tv series in development. I love making my own work.Nothing more gratifying than seeing a project from seed to screen.
As an actor, I have a new STARZ series coming out called Insomnia. We shot on location in Moscow. Pretty incredible experience!