Max lives in Notting Hill, which is my favorite neighborhood in London for its classic English pubs and most of all, Portobello Road, a flea market that surpasses all I have ever seen and is the only thing that derailed our hectic shooting schedule. One of the things that makes Notting Hill so appealing is the juxtaposition of the eclectic, heavenly madness of the endless blocks of stellar vintage and the “Mary Poppins-like” charming tree-lined streets with neoclassical, ultra-aristocratic homes in varying pastel shades. I remember looking out of the window in the back of Max’s house and admiring the romantic Thomas Gainsborough gardens and willowy trees. It takes this kind of odd tension between the idyllic and diverse that describes London and gives birth to someone like Max, who possesses a very British face and hair, but has worldly interests. I could picture him in Harry Potter with no problem, but instead, Mario Testino scouted him for an almost equivalently quintessential English role in the Burberry ad campaigns. In them, he pretty much plays himself in edgy classics like black leather motorcycle jackets and boots, pea coats and tux attire made street. Max makes pullovers - or rompers as he calls them - alluring, in that Dead Poets Society meets wild romantic kind of way, with his long bushy hair. There's nothing that beats a signet ring, especially when it is actually a hand me down of a family crest, like the one Max's father gave him - I bought one at the Portobello market and haven’t taken it off in three months. “Smart” is what he calls his style, which he has matured into since his “frumpy tramp” phase. Smart also describes Max’s lifestyle, which will be filled with lots of studying, specifically Latin American Studies. Max loved catwalking for Comme des Garcon, but Manchester University is his calling.
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