Ironically, doing just that—performing in front of people—is often anxiety inducing for Waisglass. In a moment of real honesty, she admits to me she panics any time she gets an audition. But Ginny & Georgia was different. Reading the sides for Maxine, she immediately fell in love with the character. “With her fast talking, with her oversharing, with her morbidity, she just popped right off the page for me, and I felt an immediate connection,” she says. “I’ve never had that happen before. I was just so excited to get into the room, and … when I got into the room, I said to the casting director, ‘How much fun can I have with this? How crazy can I go?’ And he was like, ‘Go nuts!’ I did, and I think that informed what Max became.” Sure enough, Max, in all of her energetic and eccentric glory, became an instant fan favorite.
A full two years passed between filming season one and season two (thank you, COVID), but as soon as Waisglass sat back in the hair-and-makeup chair, it was like Max had never left her. “I cried,” she laughs.
Though, it’s safe to say the Max we return to at the beginning of season two, which premiered last week, is far from the bubbly 15-year-old we know and love. Still reeling from the betrayal of Ginny and Abby and mourning the fallout of her relationship with Sophie, Max is heartbroken, bitter, and self-involved. But this season proves to be a growth period for her, a story line that also intrigued Waisglass. “What I’m excited for, definitely near the end of the season, is that Max is more sure of herself, and she knows what hurts her and what helps her, and she sets boundaries, which is really a beautiful thing, especially at 15,” she says. “I didn’t even know the word boundary until I was 22, so I’m very proud of her. I think she is very mature.”
But it’s not all doom and gloom for Max this season. We get to see a healthy new relationship for her. “The difference there is that, instead of chasing Sophie, Silver is just someone who sees [Max] and really likes everything about her. [She] likes her style [and] likes her energy, and it isn’t forced, and Max doesn’t feel like she’s trying, which is a really beautiful thing,” Waisglass says. There is also Max’s performance in Wellsbury High School’s fall musical production of Wellington (definitely not Bridgerton!), which proves to be yet another scene-stealing moment for Waisglass. The actress adds, “Max’s arc with Wellington is she’s letting other people take that spotlight, and she’s understanding her space and her role in her life. It kind of mimics her role in the show.” We also get to see more of the relationship between Max and her twin brother Marcus (“We have some really beautiful scenes together”) and, of course, the return of MANG. “That was also something that immediately attracted me to the script when I first read it because I love a good female friendship and representation of a good female friendship,” she says.