Interview With Hero Fiennes Tiffin And Max Harwood For ‘The Loneliest Boy In The World’

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again… In a world oversaturated with zombies, it is always nice to come across a new film with a unique take on the subgenre. Based on a story by Emilio Estévez (The Breakfast Club 1985) and directed by Martin Owen (Killers Anonymous 2019), The Loneliest Boy in the World is a heartfelt and, at times, sad story about loneliness, depression, seclusion, and the desire to be a part of something.

The Loneliest Boy in the World is a modern fairytale… with zombies, a satire and a celebration of family values, the imagery of horror films, suburban life, the American Dream, and the ultimate taboo: death.

To celebrate the release of the film, I chatted via Zoom with stars Max Harwood and Hero Fiennes Tiffin about why they wanted to be a part of the film, how they prepared for their roles, what’s up next, and more!

Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Max Harwood in The Loneliest Boy in the World

PopHorror: I loved The Loneliest Boy in the World. It was so refreshing to see a different take on the zombie subgenre. I’m really excited to speak with you both. What intrigued you about the script and made you want to be a part of the project?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: For me, it was selfishly how much fun I would have playing Mitch. I was just laughing at all his lines. I just knew I would enjoy the process of wearing the prosthetics and I’m really transforming like that. I just knew I would have fun playing a character with absolutely nothing to lose because he’s dead, so he’s kind of lost it all already and therefore, can just be a happy-go-lucky, fun character. Then Max can bring all the serious hard work to it while I just have fun.

Max Harwood: For me, they had such a good balance of not taking things too seriously and that really knows what it is as a film. Also, it’s doing things that I’ve never done before, and hopefully, I will never do in my real life.

PopHorror: Right! Let’s hope.

Max Harwood: That’s what I’m hoping for. I can’t make any promises, but I am hopeful.

PopHorror: While this is a light and fun movie, it does deal with some pretty heavy subjects like loneliness, seclusion, and depression, which is a huge theme of the movie. Max, how did you prepare for your role?

Max Harwood: I think the circumstance and the time in which we shot it enabled me to really… We shot during the pandemic, which was a really trying and difficult time for everyone in the world, for teenagers and kids everywhere mentally, having to go from seeing their friends every day in school to them literally not seeing their friends for weeks, months, years and only through Zooms and stuff. There was a level of isolation and loneliness that was running through all of us while we were making this film. We were all so happy to be in Wales and making the film. My prep really, for this film, was more so watching films, which is always a good start for me for prep. I found Johnny Depp’s performance in Edward Scissorhands to be a real cornerstone in taking me over the edge with the start of this project in terms of lining up the tone and stuff. The circumstance really helped in taking me to a place of feeling kind of lonely and isolated, for sure.

PopHorror: What a great character to study for loneliness. I really love hearing that. Hero, after reading the script, was there anything that you were adamant about bringing to your character?

Max Harwood and Hero Fiennes Tiffin in The Loneliest Boy in the World

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: That’s a really good question. Martin [director Owen] came up to me when I was grabbing my first lunch from the food truck after doing the costume fitting in my very early days, and I think Max had been filming for a couple days at this point. I still had a few days until my first day. It was a Friday, and we were filming again on Monday, and Martin was like, “How do you feel about doing an American accent?” And I was like, “What? I thought we agreed on English accent. I can do it, but I’m not really prepared for it.” And the one thing I was adamant on keeping—he was very open to me doing English, he just asked how I felt about doing the American—I just felt I had built the character from him being an English person at heart.

It was actually really hard for me to try and change the accent, and then I felt like so much else would change about the character. The kind of character in England compared to America, when I change the accent, so much else changes. So I said, “Yeah, do you mind if I stick to English?” And I feel like a happy-go-lucky nature just fell in line with the kind of character I’d built. And he was fine with that. It wasn’t a difficult battle to fight. In fact, I was like, “What do you mean coming up to me two days before we start filming saying do you want to do a different accent?” I’m glad he let me stick to the English.

PopHorror: What would be your weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: I’ve got an answer, can I go first? Basically, in a game called Dead Rising 2, you can get a motorbike. You build it and can attach chainsaws to either side so you’re riding and cutting zombies in half like that. I’m sorry, I’m 24, and I know I should probably grow up, but my memories of being up at 1am killing thousands of zombies with my crafted motorbike chainsaw, I’ve completed it now. That’s the perfect weapon.

PopHorror: That is the perfect weapon!

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Try and top that one, Max!

Max Harwood: I’ll ride on the back of Hero’s motorbike.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Fair play.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Max Harwood in The Loneliest Boy in the World

PopHorror: That’s awesome! What is up next for you both?

Max Harwood: I can’t say too much. I’ve been working on some other things that are coming next year, and I’ve got a couple other films lined up to shoot at the end of this year and spring next year. Lots of stuff. I think all I can say is that I haven’t yet done a film in my own accent, with my own facial hair, and my own sense of… I don’t know, something that feels a little bit close to Max maybe, might be nice for people to see. But also then, more stuff that just looks nothing like me, sounds nothing like me. So just keep reinventing for me.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: Yeah, similar to Max. I just want to keep doing different things. I’m so lucky to be getting opportunities to be playing different roles. I think while we’re at these early stages in our careers, it’s important to see what you’re good at, and see what you’re bad at, and try a little bit of everything before no casting directors believe you can do it. I think just begging people to hire me to do different stuff at this point. But I’m enjoying doing something always different than the last.

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

Max Harwood: Halloween.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: That’s a good one. I did really like Hereditary, to be fair. And Insidious

Max Harwood: Us. That was scary.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin: I feel like the first scary movie I watched was The Others. Do you remember that one? My mom used to get me and my brother to watch scary films with her because she was too scared to watch them alone.

Thank you so much, Max and Hero, for taking the time to speak with us. You can catch The Loneliest Boy in the World on digital and On Demand now!

About Tiffany Blem

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

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