The Mighty Ducks are back on the ice and Maxwell Simkins has joined them! Maxwell stars in the new Disney+ show The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. The new show will have 10 episodes in its first season, and fans of the franchise are singing the show’s praises. At just 14, Maxwell Simkins has a natural comedic talent that has already been seen by fans on screen. You may also recognize him from the Netflix film The Sleepover. YEM spoke with Maxwell Simkins about being on the ice. And follow us on Instagram as Maxwell Simkins goes live on our account today!
Young Entertainment Mag: How excited are you for The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers to premiere on Disney+?
Maxwell Simkins: I am so excited for our show The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers to be streaming on Disney+. I can’t wait for the world to meet the newest generation of kids that are now part of this historical franchise.
YEM: What was the process like in getting the role? How did you find out you got it?
Maxwell: The process of landing the role of Nick was a long one. For this show, like others they had a world-wide search for the kids. I first submitted a tape, was asked to do another live read in LA (this was pre-pandemic of course), a director’s reading, a chemistry reading where they mixed and matched kids, and then finally a screen test. It’s a long process of hard work, but for a franchise this big there were a lot of people involved. I am just so grateful for the opportunity. I found out that I got the role with a call from my agent and manager while on the way to a different audition, and then I got a call from Steve Brill welcoming me to the show.
YEM: This show is based off of the film of the same name, are you familiar with it? What was it like working with Emilio Estevez who was in the film and now returned for the show?
Maxwell: I was very familiar and have watched all the movies. Something really funny is that during the process we found we had the original Mighty Ducks on a VCR tape in our house. Didn’t even know what they were. But I always loved the shows, teaching that teamwork and working hard you can reach your goals.
Working with Emilio was amazing. I was a fan of his from previous work Mighty Ducks, Breakfast club and Young Guns. He was not only so professional but went out of his way to try and pass on advice and be available to help all of us. He really took to heart that he too was a young actor. And he wanted to pass on all of his knowledge to us. He is a very humble and down to earth guy. You learn so much from just watching how he worked and treats people. Truly a great guy and hopefully I can work with him again.
YEM: Do you have any favorite memories from shooting the series that you would like to share with us?
Maxwell: I really enjoyed the skating. Also because of covid, we as the cast were limited to what we could all do together. One of my favorite memories was just playing tag in the rain with the other kids during a lunch break.
YEM: The show is extremely inspirational. What is something you took away from the show that you think could help others?
Maxwell: Yes, the show really teaches that if people come together and work hard you can achieve so much. It is about how you respond from getting knocked down and how you get back up. I think it also shows an important message for the times we’re living in. That people, kids, from all different backgrounds can become a team with common goals of just trying to be the best you can be, having fun and always working hard for your dreams.
YEM: The show deals with the concept of underdogs. What can we learn from the show about being an underdog?
Maxwell: Don’t ever count the underdog out! The show teaches the life lesson that if you believe in yourself you can achieve so much. Sometimes the journey teaches us more than an outcome.
YEM: Do you think there is a lot to learn in this show about rejection and failure and the importance of persevering?
Maxwell: Yes, as I’ve said it’s like life, we will all get knocked down and have many disappointments in our lives, but you will be judged on how you get up and fight, work to learn, and become a better person. What’s that saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
YEM: Hockey is a big part of the show, did you have to learn how to play before the show?
Maxwell: I had skated before back home in Philadelphia. However, we all went through weeks of pre-production and then hockey lessons throughout the entire show. It really was a hockey boot camp. We had great instruction.
YEM: There is also a comedic aspect to this show, what is your favorite part of a show that has comedy to it?
Maxwell: I have always loved comedy. I think that having the ability to laugh and make people laugh is really important. When I’m acting in a comedy I just hope that my performance can bring a smile to people and maybe take them away from their everyday problems and laugh. As a young kid I would often turn to Disney television shows to help me get over tough situations and cheer me up. Cameron Boyce did this for me and is one of the major reasons I became an actor.
YEM: Were you able to learn anything valuable in terms of acting while being on set?
Maxwell: On set I always learn so much. No matter how many projects I do, I always take away new knowledge from the entire cast, crew, and the entire experience that I then hopefully take forward to my next project. Biggest lesson I learned early on was to be professional.
YEM: What is your dream role for the future? What kind of roles are your favorite to play?
Maxwell: As I stated comedy are some of my favorite roles but I also love drama. I would also love to be in a horror film. I think a dream role would be to play Batman or Spiderman or I really love Star Wars, so any character in a Star Wars movie, I would even be a rock or something in the background.
YEM: If you had your own mascot who or what would it be and why?
Maxwell: I think my mascot would be my little dog Ace. He brings me so much love and joy and is always there for me.