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Inside The Enfield Poltergeist with… Max Lohan

By Elise Czyzowska

07 November 2023

Friday 27th October saw the release of the latest from MetFilm… The Enfield Poltergeist, a four-part Apple TV+ series with 21 MetFilm School students and graduates credited.

Speaking with Director’s Assistant Phoebe Campbell-Harris for last week’s blog, we also got the chance to go in front of the camera with BA Practical Filmmaking Graduate Max Lohan. Max played Graham Morris in the show, re-enacting the experiences of the photographer who captured the infamous photos of Janet Hodgson in the 1970s…

Graham Morris’ photos from the Enfield Hauntings are world-famous. What was it like finding out you would be portraying him?

From the initial audition, I was hooked. Finding out that I was going to be playing him was a mixture of excitement, nervousness – but overall, motivation.

During the filming, I found the real audio of Graham’s voice so spooky, even a little eerie. I thought that, at any point, the chair I was using might move by itself!

We imagine you weren’t at a loss for character research – how else did you prepare for the role?

The archive audio was extremely helpful – I’ve never had that kind of material when preparing for a role before.

Getting the voice of a character is so important, and something I strive to get solid before most things, so when you’re given the voice, it’s just so valuable. From there, it was really just about reading the scripts and getting to grips with the story as best I could.

The set for The Enfield Poltergeist

Was it challenging, ‘re-enacting’ real experiences, compared to fictional acting roles?

Playing a real person was definitely more stressful and nerve-wracking. That said, this character was also one of the most enjoyable ones for me.

Jerry (Rothwell, Director) really created an environment where we could all relax and use the space around us. Once I got onto set, I just felt at ease.

During our Masterclass with Geoffrey Rush and Stephen Hopkins, they spoke about portraying real people by finding out ‘who they really are’. How did this come into play with the role of Graham?

From what I understand, the Enfield Hauntings were one of Graham Morris’s first experiences with the paranormal. Once I realised that, it really informed my own performance.

I realised to re-enact his experience, I just needed to experience what was happening around me in real time.

Max Lohan on set of The Enfield Poltergeist

Hopkins also spoke about the advantage of understanding filmmaking as an actor. How do you think your degree in BA Practical Filmmaking has benefitted you as an actor?

I came to MetFilm School to better understand the craft of filmmaking as a whole, and what I left with was a complete respect for every role that goes into making a film. My degree really cemented that there is no one person more important than the other.

We’re all there to make art, and each of us should respect the process.

For actors who don’t have any filmmaking experience, where would you advise them to begin?

For me, I find the process of writing incredibly informative to my acting and performance. It helps with building your character, figuring out their backstory and understanding their world inside-out.

I know that, whenever I’m stuck with a character, I’ll often write and fill in the gaps to try and solve whatever issue I’m having. It usually helps!