A 'Max' Star & Director Talk Open Up About 'Max'

By Kaitlin Reilly

When I think about troops fighting within the United States military, rarely do I ever consider the animals who serve alongside them. Boaz Yakin's Max not only honors the dogs who are trained to serve in the military alongside the troops, but also honors the bond between these dogs and the humans they serve. In Max, teenager Justin (Josh Wiggins) adopts his older brother Kyle's Marine dog after Kyle is killed in Afghanistan. Justin and Max are both grieving the loss of Kyle and teaching one another very important lessons in the process — something that both the director and star Wiggins stated as the reason for wanting to share this story.

"I wanted to make a family movie that respects kids and also respects adults, and asks kids to step up their game. I know I appreciated that as a kid, and I feel like so much of the material that is out there for kids right now is very soft, and not challenging in ways that this is," says Yakin of the film.

Wiggins seconds the statement: "I think [Max] teaches kids a lot about accepting responsibilities, even if you don't want to at first."

Check out the entire interview with Wiggins and Yakin below, and see Max in theaters Friday, June 26:

Image: Kaitlin E Reilly/YouTube (screenshot)