MAXIM BALDRY [YEARS & YEARS]
English actor MAXIM BALDRY is a free-spirited soul who enjoys the spontaneity and adventures that acting brings. He currently stars in the Russell T Davies’ British TV series Years and Years as Viktor Goraya- a Ukranian refugee who developed a romantic relationship with Daniel Lyons.
In this exclusive interview, the actor chatted with us about acting, getting into the headspace of his characters, exploring stories of Eastern European asylum seekers, and his desire to have dinner with Joaquin Phoenix.
Tell us a little about your story. Who is Maxim Baldry?
I grew up in Moscow and Poland for the first 7 years of my life before settling in London. I was always interested in acting from an early age and got my first gig when I was eleven. From then I flirted with acting, music and finishing school. I feel very lucky to do what I love for a living.
What’s your favorite thing about being an actor?
It’s strange being an actor sometimes but very liberating. For example, I have no idea what I’m doing next week but I could get a call from my agent and he’ll tell me that I’m flying out to Croatia to finish the show I’m working on. It’s a scary existence but also very stimulating. So I guess I love the spontaneity of being an actor. You never do the same thing twice and you get to do a lot of travelling.
As an actor, what type of roles and genres do you normally gravitate towards?
I gravitate towards great stories. I think that excites me most about this world. If a story can connect with me and make me feel something, then I want to explore it.
How did you prepare and get yourself into the headspace for the character of Viktor?
I wanted to tell Viktor’s story as authentically as possible so I met with Eastern European asylum seekers who went on a very similar journey to Viktor. They were the most inspirational people I have ever met. They were all so positive and I really put that into Viktor’s character.
Do you relate to Viktor in any way?
Viktor is an incredibly compassionate and kind person and I think that playing him has actually made me a better person. So I’m very grateful for the experience and the chance to explore him as a character.
Describe Years and Years in 3 words.
Explosive. Honest. Funny.
The show ended with an emotional cliffhanger that left fans wanting more. What are your thoughts on the finale?
Russell T Davies is an incredible writer. I don’t think anyone could have explored as much as he has done in six hours of television. The finale was great!
What other upcoming projects can we look forward to seeing you in?
I’ve just finished a feature with Emilia Clarke called Last Christmas. If you like George Michael and Christmas, this one’s for you. I’ve also just finished two shows that will be out early next year.
What’s your dream project?
I want to do a project with Joaquin Phoenix. Or dinner. Dinner with Joaquin Phoenix will also do.
Aside from acting, what do you normally enjoy doing in your free time?
I play a lot of music. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without a guitar and I would feel empty and scared.
If you had the chance to help any specific charity / organization, which one would it be and why?
My mum actually runs a charity that helps Russian orphans in Moscow get the right education and get on their feet. It’s an amazing charity and I would love to get more involved with that.
See Maxim as Viktor on BBC’s Years & Years.