Not many child actors get to party with the Wild Things on the big screen. Especially the “unknown” variety which is what Max Records, star of Wild Things, was until the debut of this film. Records, 12, was discovered in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, and picked to star as the young hero in the Spike Jonze’s helmed Where the Wild Things Are.
Records, who is reminiscent of a slightly younger Jonah Bobo (Zathura, Choke), snagged this role with his sparse previous credits being music videos for Cake and Death Cab for Cutie and playing a young Mark Ruffalo in The Brothers Bloom. For the majority of the film he plays opposite Jim Henson-esque monsters known as the Wild Things, unpredictable beasts living in seclusion on a remote isle and holds his won but he also adeptly displays raw emotion in scenes with his human family. “It was a huge relief,” Jonze says of casting Records, who auditioned with costar Catherine Keener.
Records liked director Spike Jonze because, “Instead of acting, he wants there to be real, spontaneous emotion – just like raw emotion. Instead of just telling people just to get out there and be scared or happy, he would have some of the Wild Things in the background having a light saber fight.” Of the Sendak masterpiece the film is based on, Records says, “This book reflects what it’s actually like being a kid.” I expect we’ll be seeing Max Records in more than music video cameos from this point forward.