Skylar Astin interview: ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’
Season 2 of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” ended up being a big one for Skylar Astin and his character, Max. After being fired from SPRQ Point and sharing his first kiss with Zoey (Jane Levy) in the first season, Max goes on to build his own restaurant with Mo (Alex Newell), confront his father and find a bit more confidence in his personal life. “In Season 2, I really wanted him to come into his own,” says Astin in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby, “and in doing so, have that integrity in business with Mo, in his love life with Zoey.” Watch the full video interview above.
The second episode features a huge moment when Max and Zoey are finally getting intimate for the first time. Max tries to not have Zoey hear his true heart song — “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men — by singing the standard “Take Me Out the Ballgame,” but the real heart song keeps slipping through. The scene, which ended up being an entire act of television, required a great deal of nuance from Astin. “We had to go through some slapstick comedy, some bedroom farce, some Jekyll and Hyde transformation and it was a real showcase for me,” he admits, crediting the writers for trusting him to execute such a complex scene. “It was important that when we were doing the sexy Boyz II Men song to actually be living in the anxiety of it and not leaning into the sexuality of it.”
Another pivotal episode for Astin was Episode 12, where the series flashes back to Zoey and Max’s first day at SPRQ Point. This is when the audience discovers that Max essentially sacrificed his own spot at the company to help Zoey land the job without her knowing it. Max sees that Zoey is an excellent coder who deserves the opportunity and as Astin explains, “In his heart of hearts, he couldn’t get in the way of that.”
*SPOILERS WARNING FOR THE SEASON 2 FINALE OF ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST*
The revelation of what Max did for Zoey comes to light in the Season 2 finale of “Zoey’s,” but it’s not the only revelation in this episode. At the end of the finale, it is revealed that Max may have inherited Zoey’s musical powers, or at least given the ability to hear Zoey’s heart songs. Astin knew about this development ahead of time but was excited to see it officially confirmed in the finale script. “I think it gives us so much real estate to explore in Season 3,” states Astin. “It’s a level playing field, but are there moments when Max can hear a certain song that Zoey hears a different song and what does that mean about the power and what does that mean about relationships? I think it’s just a well of opportunity.”