SYDNEY TO THE MAX - Disney Channel's "Sydney to the Max" stars Jackson Dollinger as young Max Reynolds, Ian Reed Kesler as adult Max Reynolds, and Ruth Righi as Sydney Reynolds. (Disney Channel/Ed Herrera)

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Jackson Dollinger, Star of Disney Channel Show “Sydney to the Max”

Jackson Dollinger stars as 12-year-old daredevil and avid skateboarder Max Reynolds in Disney Channel’s multigenerational comedy “Sydney to the Max.” Seen in mutiple flashbacks to the 1990s, Dollinger’s character “young Max” wants nothing more than to impress the cool skater crowd, known as the “Dog Boys” and hang with his best friend Leo, played by Christian J Simon, at home or the local video arcade. 

“Sydney to the Max” marks Dollinger’s first series regular role.
Dollinger’s other television credits include voicing the recurring character of Charlie on the animated Disney Junior series “Puppy Dog Pals” as well as appearances on “Loosely Exactly Nicole” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. Dollinger’s additional credits include numerous national commercials for well-known corporations including Nissan and PetSmart. Dollinger also brings his talents from the screen to the stage. A passionate stage performer, Dollinger made his theatrical debut in The Road Theater’s production of “John is a Father,” alongside veteran actor Sam Anderson

Like his character on Sydney To The Max, Dollinger is a talented skateboarder and credits his skateboarding abilities with helping him land the role of Young Max. In his spare time, Dollinger enjoys skateboarding, surfing and playing basketball. He currently resides in his hometown of Los Angeles with his family.

CelebMix had the chance to interview Jackson about the new Disney Channel show!

When did you know you wanted acting to be a career of yours?

At the age of 9, I decided I wanted to try acting. I did a number of commercials, theater, and a few guest star roles in that first year. It was solidified that I wanted acting as my lifelong career on the first day of shooting the Pilot for Sydney to the Max. It felt so good to be in front of the camera, learning and taking direction. I knew for sure that this was the career for me.

Tell us something that no one else would know about you.

I am not sure I want to reveal this, but I cry when animals are hurt in movies. I just can’t help it. It really upsets me.

You’re playing the lead role of the new Disney Show “Sydney to the Max” what’s your character like?

I play Young Max. He is very fun and outgoing. He loves to skateboard and hangout with his best friend, Leo. He works at the arcade that Leo’s dad owns. He is very close to his mother who is raising him by herself.

Are there similarities between your character and you in real life?

There are a lot of similarities between Young Max and I. This is one of the things I love about the role. In fact, when I first got the sides for the audition, the conversation Young Max was having with his mom in the scene was identical to a conversation my mother and I had recently had about bleaching my hair. Young Max is a skateboarder and skateboarding is a huge part of my life as well. I have been skating since I was about 3 years old and I take it very seriously, as does Young Max. Ultimately, Young Max is sensitive and thoughtful and wants to do the right thing and I think I am the same way.

You play the younger character of Ian Reed Kesler’s character, Max, what’s something older and younger Max have in common and what’s one thing different?

The one thing that Adult Max and Young Max have in common is they have a very close relationship with their mother. As an adult, Max lives with his mother and daughter in the house he grew up in. Adult Max is more cautious than Young Max. Young Max is a bit of a daredevil and Adult Max has calmed down quite a bit in his later years.

Do you have a favorite memory filming on set?

One of my favorite memories from set is when Max gets a turtle named Hawk. In this episode, I got to do so many fun scenes with Hawk and Leo. The best scene was when Max is trying to get the turtle to skateboard. It was a blast and the turtle was adorable.

The show is set in the 90’s and today, what’s one thing that you would love to bring back from the 90’s?

I would bring pagers back. I think if people had pagers instead of smartphones they would spend more time outdoors and talking to people real time, instead of only talking via text.

Finally, it’s a brand new year! What’s your New Years resolution?

I would say that I have goals for 2019, rather than resolutions. One is to become better on the drums. Another is to write my own original song. Lastly, I would like to learn a foreign language this year.

Sydney to the Max is set to premiere on January 25 on Disney Channel.

Written by Will Heffernan