Max schneider explains what it’s like to play a rock legend in ‘love & mercy’

With reporting by Cory Midgarden

You probably know MTV Artist To Watch Max Schneider as the talented crooner behind songs like “Gibberish,” but thanks to his recent portrayal of a music legend, a whole new audience is about to know him as a serious actor.

“[The movie is] called ’Love & Mercy,’ and it’s about Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys’ life,” Schneider told MTV News. “I play Van Dyke Parks in it, who is a lyricist on Smile Record with Brian, and it was a really exciting experience. First time I ever played a real person who’s out there… [but I] still haven’t met him.”

Wilson is played by both John Cusack and Paul Dano (“Little Miss Sunshine”) in the film, with “Pitch Perfect” and “The Hunger Games” actress Elizabeth Banks playing Wilson’s wife Melinda Ledbetter. According to Schneider, his scenes together with Dano were one of his favorite parts of bringing Parks to life.

“I mostly worked with Paul Dano… He’s just really one of the most amazing guys and actors I’ve ever met,” Schneider continued. “He’s so giving, and you know, he’s definitely one of the best actors of our generation, and he doesn’t care who he’s working with. He just wants to bring the best out of his fellow actor, which in turn always brings the best out of him even if he’s not on camera.

“There was one day where — you know, he’s the star of the movie — and there’s a scene where they were like, ’oh it’s your turn. Paul’s gonna leave… you’ll do it with a stand-in your scene.’ And Paul’s like, ’nah, nah, man!’ He had wrapped. He was like, ’nah, nah, man, I’ll stay with him and do the scene.’ That was such an amazing moment — to know that this guy was done for the day. He could go home, but he was so giving. He wanted to make sure that I got the best out of it as well, and I’ll never forget that. [It was] a small thing that meant so much to me.”

Hmm — maybe hearing about how nice Dano is in person will help us forget how creepy he was in “There Will Be Blood.” But either way, we’re thrilled to see Schneider, Dano and the gang bringing Wilson’s story to life — especially since “Love & Mercy” is already garnering rave reviews and Oscar buzz.

“I’m just really excited about this movie as a Beach Boys fan,” Schneider concluded. “I was, you know, a Beach Boys fan, but now I’m such a deep Beach Boys fan. This movie, I think, brings that out of people. It shows how Pet Soundswas made and all these iconic albums, so I hope people can go check it out.”

We will, Max.

Oh, and as for Schneider’s favorite Beach Boys song, now that he’s played one of their most iconic lyricists? We think it’s a pretty “nice” pic.

“I’d say ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ is probably my favorite Beach Boys song,” he said. “It just gets me every time. I think of ’50 First Dates,’ like, ’yeah that movie’s tight.’ I just love it.”