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Best Max Thieriot Performances, Ranked

Max Thieriot became an actor at a young age, finding a talent manager that first landed him some modeling and acting in some short films before he stepped on a full-length movie set. Even so, he was still young, often portraying teens in the movies he was cast in for the majority of his early career.

Thieriot continued acting even after he outgrew these early roles, moving into more serious roles as well as shifting more into TV than movies. He has even begun to co-create some series as well, including the upcoming CBS drama Cal Fire that he is also set to star in. Though his career is diverse, there’s no doubt these are some of his best performances.

10 The Pacifier

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

The action comedy The Pacifier features a Navy SEAL trying to navigate the difficulties of babysitting. Shane Wolfe has a failed assignment where he was to rescue a man working on a secret government project from rebels. After the man died and Wolfe recovered from his own wounds, he was assigned to escort the man’s widow in order to retrieve his safety deposit box as well as search for the secret project. Once the nanny up and quits, Wolfe finds himself taking up the position to take care of the five children when he never had any of his own, struggling for a while until he begins to befriend the kids and really understand them.

Thieriot plays Seth Plummer, the second oldest of the five kids. He provides a real challenge as an angsty teen and is hard to win over. Thieriot really leans into his role though, making it feel as if he really was the sullen teen in real life.

9 Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew Cast
Warner Bros. Pictures

Loosely based on the mystery novels of the same name, Nancy Drew follows the titular teen detective as she tries to solve another case. After moving from their small town to Los Angeles, Nancy’s father tries to encourage her to live like a normal teen, especially after enrolling her in the local school. However, he doesn’t know that she chose the house they moved into because of its famously unsolved mystery. She’s determined to solve the mystery of the death of movie star Dehlia Draycott, no matter what her father says or what trouble she may bring to herself along the way.

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Thieriot plays Ned Nickerson, Nancy’s best friend from back home as well as her love interest. He picks up the role well, clearly understanding his friend and how determined she can be with all of these cases, helping her along while also trying to make sure she stays safe.

8 Foreverland

Max Thieriot and Laurence Leboeuf Foreverland
Entertainment One

Foreverland is a drama about the youthfulness of life and how easy it can be to lose it. Will Rankin doesn’t feel like his whole life is ahead of him at the age of 21 due to early onset of osteoporosis that was caused by his cystic fibrosis, which is a terminal illness. He was resigned to his fate before he has a vision of a childhood friend who died of the same condition asking Will to take his ashes to a healing sanctuary in Mexico. He sets out on a road trip with his friend’s sister to do just that shortly after and begins to find himself again along the way.

Thieriot stars as Will, bringing the lonely and sarcastic young adult to life perfectly. He captures the emotion needed for someone who is sullen and ready to succumb to fate, who also begins to rediscover his youthfulness along the way.

7 Chloe

Cast Chloe
Sony Pictures Classics

In Chloe, Catherine suspects her husband David is having an affair after seeing a picture of him with a female student on his phone. After a chance meeting with a call girl and discovering they both work in the same neighborhood, Catherine decides to hire this woman to test David’s loyalty. Chloe is more than happy to accept, reporting back that David had kissed her. Catherine is upset but allows Chloe to continue to see how far and long he was going to push it. She reports back often and details her encounters with David, making Catherine jealous. However, these stories also slowly show Catherine she’s developing feelings for Chloe.

Thieriot plays Michael in the movie, the son of Catherine and David. Though he isn’t a main character, he’s still a driving force in the movie, as neither of his parents wants to split up their family especially for his sake, and also to have Chloe flirting with him to show her non-committal attitude. With such an important role, it’s great to see Thieriot in it for what time he is on the screen.

6 The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer
Warner Bros. Pictures

The drama The Astronaut Farmer is about a Texas rancher who tries to build a rocket to launch himself into space. Charles Farmer was an astronaut in training before he had to resign from the program after the sudden death of his father in order to keep their ranch from being foreclosed on. Upset over his missed opportunity, he slowly builds a working replica of the Mercury-Atlas rocket in the barn, using every last bit of money he had and even facing another foreclosure. However, his family continues to support him and his dreams, so even when the government comes knocking to try and put a stop to this he still stays determined to achieve his dream.

Thieriot plays Shepard Farmer, the teenage son of Charles. He really brings the role to the life of the kid who loves his parents with everything he has as he supports his dad and the building of the rocket in any way he can.

5 Fire Country

Fire Country

In the TV show Fire Country, young convict Bode Donovan struggles with a troubled past. He volunteers for the California Conservation Camp Program in an attempt to shorten his sentence, assisting the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Surprisingly, he is assigned to his hometown in Northern California, where he now has to work alongside old friends, other inmates, and of course, firefighters to put out the large forest fires and prevent them from spreading and causing even more damage.

Thieriot stars as Bode Donovan, bringing the convict to life. Through his acting, you can tell Donovan is trying his hardest to redeem himself by helping fight these fires, and that he’s actually taking in some of the lessons he’s learning along the way. Thieriot also helped co-create the show and sometimes acts as director or producer as well.

4 Disconnect

Max Thieriot as Kyle in Disconnect
LD Entertainment

Disconnect uses three interconnected stories to explore the negative sides of modern communication technology. First, new reporter Nina Dunham interviews an underage video chatroom stripper named Kyle, looking for a story. However, the FBI gets involved as her interview draws some notice, saying what she did was potentially illegal, and they need to shut the house down hosting these strippers.

Then, two boys catfish a local teen, Ben, to send nudes of himself. The picture is quickly distributed around to Ben’s classmates and embarrasses him to the point that he tries to kill himself, forcing his father to investigate what happened. Finally, a young married couple, Derek and Cindy, are still struggling with the death of their only son. Cindy is still mourning, and knowing that Derek won’t talk about it, she turns to an online support group for help. Then, their identities are stolen, causing a detective to get involved as he suspects the support group to be the issue.

Thieriot plays Kyle, only showing up for one of the three stories but still playing an important role. He brings the character to life well, portraying the teen who has nothing else going for him and has to do this to get by with everything he can muster.

3 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

Max Thieriot as Will Shepherd in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Warner Bros. Pictures

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl brings to life the titular American Girl character who lives in Cincinnati during the Great Depression. Kit has dreams of becoming a reporter, and as such, spends her days writing articles on the typewriter in her bedroom.

Recently, there were reports of robberies in the area with a group of homeless as the prime suspects. She decides to investigate and meets young Will and Countee along the way. She writes a story on the camp and tries to sell it to the Cincinnati newspaper, but the editor has no interest in it. When her own mother is affected by the robberies soon after that makes Will out to be the suspect, Kit can’t help but continue to investigate as she believes Will is innocent and someone else is committing these crimes.

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Thieriot plays Will, bringing the young homeless man to life on the screen. The movie wouldn’t be the same without his performance to really make the audience feel for all the homeless and continue to believe he is innocent throughout the movie.

2 Bates Motel

Max Thieriot as Dylan Massett in Bates Motel

The Bates Motel TV series serves as a prequel to the popular film Psycho, depicting the lives of Norman Bates and his mother Norma before the film’s plot takes place. After Norma’s husband dies, she purchases the Seafairer Motel across the country so that she and Norman can start over again together. The story then takes place in this motel, slowly showing the progression of Norman’s mental illness as it becomes dangerous, and the lengths Norma is willing to go to in order to protect her son and others from himself, with the final season adapting the plot of Psycho to fit the modern setting.

Thieriot stars in all five seasons as Dylan Massett, Norman’s half-brother. He’s an outsider to the family as he felt his mother didn’t give him enough attention, but moves closer to them and the motel in order to try and reconcile. Thieriot brings him to life well, as he’s especially good at portraying the tough-looking guy who’s just putting on a facade and is actually a nice person.

1 SEAL Team

Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser in SEAL Team

The still ongoing SEAL Team TV series follows a team of Navy SEALs throughout many of their dangerous missions. This team, known as Bravo Team, is a subunit of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, which is the most elite unit of Navy SEALs. They have to plan and undertake many dangerous missions worldwide, often with little notice, in order to save the country, the people within it, and sometimes even the world. This doesn’t come without its own burdens, however, on them and on their families as they have to see their husbands, fathers, or sons risk their lives regularly without knowing if they’ll come back alive.

Thieriot stars as Special Warfare Operator First Class Clay Spenser, a second-generation Navy SEAL. He becomes a member of the Bravo Team and is invaluable even despite questions about his readiness for combat. Thieriot makes all the difference in the team and those six seasons wouldn’t feel the same without him.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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