Interview With Anton Starkman, Star Of ‘Max Winslow And The House Of Secrets.’

Anton Starkman is still a little unsure about horror movies. He’d rather act in them than watch them. With such roles as one of the vampire children in American Horror Story: Hotel, and as the young Forty in Netflix’s You, Anton finds himself in more and more horror roles as his career grows. Most recently, Anton can be seen as Ethan Winslow in the thriller/mystery Max Winslow and the House of Secrets. I caught up with the 17-year-old newcomer, and we talked about how he got his start in the business, his newfound respect for horror, Tom Hanks, and of course, horror movies.

PopHorror: Max Winslow and the House of Secrets is so much fun! I love movies like that where you can tell a lot of imagination went into it. What intrigued you about the film, and made you want to be a part of it?

Anton Starkman: I first auditioned like any other audition. I first auditioned for Benny’s role but they wanted somebody 18 and I was 16, I think. I do remember the script being super interesting. It was like a classic idea of having these kids together, but a bit differently. They combined a couple of ideas and made it their own. I thought that was really interesting.

PopHorror: I like that Max was female and that she was super smart. The coding and all the science… I like that they did that. Very different from what you see most of the time.

Anton Starkman: First of all, those characters never usually exist, but also they’re definitely never the leads, which is really interesting to see.

Anton Starkman

PopHorror: I wouldn’t really call it horror, but it is definitely horror adjacent. And this isn’t your first venture into horror. Were you a horror fan before? And what draws you back to it?

Anton Starkman: Funny enough, I can’t say I’m the biggest horror fan, normally. Watching-wise. I love acting horror because it’s super fun for me because I don’t live anything like that life. Especially in American Horror Story where I’m going around town slashing throats left and right. It’s very, very different attitude-wise from how I normally act so that’s really fun to do. That’s what draws me back to those roles. Plus it’s a bit easier for me to go into a bit darker mode just a bit scarier. But that being said, my brother Landon, who is 22, he absolutely loves horror films, and I don’t understand it. He can watch them at 2:00 AM, in the dark by himself with no problem. And I’m like, “How do you do that?” I’ve watched a couple of movies with him, and I’ve always loved them. But I’m more of a magic kind of guy. 

PopHorror: I get that a lot from people, that they find it easier to act in horror movies than to watch them. I have to say, I go to sleep to horror a lot so I understand with your brother. You’re fairly young with an already impressive resume. What made you want to be an actor?

Anton Starkman: I actually started because of my two older brothers, Wyatt and Landen [Starkman]. We kind of all started acting together, but mainly Wyatt and Landen because they were a bit older. I was five when I started and kind of just tagging along. Any cute little kids that would lick ice cream and smile I would audition for. But slowly, as we grew up, Wyatt and Landen started to transition out of acting and into different things like music. But with acting, I felt that I could do it really well, so I wanted to go even further into it and continue.

PopHorror: I saw you do some singing on your Instagram the other day.

Anton Starkman: Oh, yeah. I really love singing.

PopHorror: If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Anton Starkman: There are a couple of people. Since I’ve been acting since I was five, there are a couple of people that I’ve always looked up to. Any person that can go into a completely different role like the two people I always think about first, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

PopHorror: I love Tom Hanks.

Anton Starkman: They’re two very different actors but they have such wide ranges. Tom Hanks can go from Cast Away, The Da Vinci Code, or Sully, into Mr. Rogers, which is something completely different. And Leonardo DiCaprio is insane. Those two are probably the longest actors I would want to be with, but also recently the peak in young actors. I’ve always wanted to work with Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Tom Holland… I think that would be a dream come true.

PopHorror: Big fan of Timothée Chalamet, but Tom Hanks is a national treasure. 

Anton Starkman: We need to protect Tom Hanks at all costs.

PopHorror: I’ve been saying that. Please show me a movie that he’s done that’s terrible. Like completely unwatchable.

Anton Starkman: I don’t think that’s physically possible. Tom Hanks makes it watchable.

PopHorror: Exactly! It’s impossible. You can find something endearing about every role that he’s done.

Anton Starkman: Yes, exactly!

Anton Starkman

PopHorror: I know that Covid has stalled a lot of things, and a lot of projects have been canceled, but do you currently have anything that you’re working on or anything else that you’re working on?

Anton Starkman: Unfortunately, no. Exactly as you said, it took a hard stop on all production. I’ve mainly taken this time to work on school. I started college applications. Just doing that has been my main focus but I’d be beyond excited to do any sort of self-tape or online audition that I can. There’s really not many right now.

PopHorror: One last question for you Anton. What is your favorite scary movie?

Anton Starkman: There’s a few… a few classics like It, and Insidious. Those are the two that stand out. Basic but still really good. Most recently probably The Invisible Man.

max winslow

Thank you so much to Anton for taking the time to speak with us. Max Winslow and the House of Secrets will be available on Digital Download beginning February 15 and can be pre-ordered here!

About Tiffany Blem

Horror lover, dog mommy, book worm, EIC of PopHorror.

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