Ben Winchell and Ana Villafane both star in Max Steel, a new superhero feature adapted from lesser-known comic book that was inspired by a Mattel toy.

‘Max Steel’ Exclusive

In Max Steel, Winchell plays the titular role – half teenage boy (Max), half alien (Steel). It’s this duality of his character that Winchell believes sets him apart from all of the other superheroes that have recently been recreated in films.

“What makes them unique and what makes it different from every other superhero I feel has been out there is, if Max didn’t have Steel, Max wouldn’t be a superhero,” Winchell explained to uInterview. “Max is just a kid who has this energy running through him, that if he didn’t have Steel there with him he would just explode and die. Which is terrible. But Steel is there Max has this energy that flows through him that if Steel isn’t there to basically absorb it, control it and harness it, then there would be no Max Steel.”

Being Max Steel isn’t an easy thing, but it becomes more bearable with Sofia’s (Villafane) friendship. “They meet in school and she kind of befriends him, she finds him mysterious, she thinks that there’s something more to him and she wants to find out what that might be,” Villafane told uInterview exclusively. “So she instigates this relationship to start and this friendship, which ends up benefitting him a lot as he goes through his adventure of becoming Max Steel.”

Ben Winchell, Ana Villafane Talk Chemistry

Before playing love interests, Winchell and Villafane had to pass a chemistry test and had some lunch dates to get to know each other better. When asked how they developed the on-screen chemistry, Villafane joked, “It was terrible!” Winchell added, “It was awful, it was terrible! I mean it was just literally us two in Wilmington, [N.C.], and so we only had each other. We were in this little hotel for such a long time.”

In truth, building chemistry with Villafane was far from the hardest part of taking on the part of playing Max Steele for Winchell. Since half of his character had to be rendered in CGI, he often had to do scenes delivering his lines to the air.

“I was talking to the air for about 60% of the movie. I mean we did this thing called a reference shot where they would bring in like the little green ball, and they would do a reference pass then they would take it out and I would just have to talk to air,” Winchell revealed. “And it was interesting because he, Steele is very jittery, so he’s moving around a lot at times until he he starts to get it under control, and so you’re just moving your eyes around trying to have dialogue with something and you feel like a complete idiot and everybody behind camera is cracking up at you. But I’m hoping it turned out well.”

Max Steel, which also stars Maria Bello, Andy Garcia and Mike Doyle, is slated to hit theaters the fall of 2015.

Read more about: