EastEnders lied to Max Bowden over him being cast as Ben Mitchell

EastEnders lied to Max Bowden over him being cast as Ben Mitchell

08/26/2019

Ben Mitchell has made a huge impression on viewers since returning to EastEnders earlier this year — and that’s primarily down to Max Bowden, who’s been doing a tremendous job since he seamlessly slotted into the role back in April.

Yes, from trying to take down Phil (Steve McFadden) to kissing Callum (Tony Clay), it’s safe to say that Ben has become one of the show’s most pivotal characters since Max began playing him. However, it turns out that — even though Max knew he was auditioning for a role on EastEnders — he had no idea that it was Ben he was trying out for.

The actor said: ‘I think we pinned it as Tyler. It was all very discreet and all very top secret. I got in, and they had their Christmas holidays. I think they broke on the day I got cast. And then I came in on the first day back and they said ‘We weren’t totally honest with you’, and then they were like ‘You’re not playing Tyler, you’re playing Ben Mitchell — you’re free to walk away now!’

‘It was terrifying because it’s such a well-established show and such a well-established character. But I think it made it more exciting because there was all of this heritage and all of this familiarity from an audience perspective. You have so much history to work with and, for an actor, that’s what you look for.’

Thankfully, Max wasn’t put off by the revelation and, in less than six months, he’s managed to craft his own version of Ben — one that’s both fresh and familiar — and he’s delivered stunning performances week on week as a result. Prior to him taking over the role, quite a few actors had inhabited the character, but Max chose to go in with a fresh perspective.

‘If you work on any character in life you have your own view of who he is. I wanted to have my own clear head of who I saw him as at this point in his life and a lot had changed in the year between when he left and when he came back. He’d been in Portugal and things had happened and he’d become more accepting of himself, and I wanted to discover that myself’.

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