Desperate Housewives was your breakout in 2008. Did you know at that point that acting would be your career?
Charlie Carver It changed where we saw our futures going, but we were still students. We still both lived off campus by our university!
Max Carver I had bedbugs! I was still the pledge president of my fraternity.
Charlie We were so lucky with Desperate Housewives. Working with Felicity Huffman! She’s so humble and has such a history in this business. To have her as kind of a role model or a mother — both in the story, but also on set, kind of…
Max She shaped us up.
Which was the crazier filming experience: Desperate Housewives or Teen Wolf?
Max The thing you have to remember about Teen Wolf is that one moment you’re running across campus, like, ripping off your claws — and then someone’s just getting wolf makeup put on nearby. Like, ”Oh, hey, how’re you doin’?” to somebody in blue face paint.
Charlie [Our characters] were such little goobers on Housewives. We were dumb! [Laughs] And so when Teen Wolf came along, it was like, ”Really? You want us to be action heroes? Yeah, I’ll do my own stunts!”
What drew you to The Leftovers?
Charlie I’d read the book right when it came out and fell in love with it. I completely forgot that there were twins in it until I found out there was a pilot for HBO. And the first audition we went in, we’d been wrapping the finale of Teen Wolf, which was all-night shoots.
Max So we went in early in the morning. Yeah, I blew that one. Charlie looked at me after that and was like, ”Max! You blew that for me!” But then they brought us back.
Tell me about auditioning for roles as twins. Is there a separate system?
Charlie Yeah, there’s a community.
Max There’s just five sets of twins and we just talk to each other every day. [Laughs] Nah, it’s the same thing.
Charlie When we go in for casting as twins, we want to show that we can do either part. What’s so great about the jobs that we’ve had is that from the beginning, but especially as the shows continue, they really start to differentiate us. Because we really are so different.
Does it annoy you when twin roles go to non-twin actors, like Armie Hammer in The Social Network?
Charlie No, it’s just scary. [Laughs] The day they start using robots for actors is going to be a scary day for everyone. We went in for that, right?
Max We did.
Charlie But we looked, like, 15 and weighed 120 pounds.
Max They were like, ”Uh, yeah, you’re supposed to be 6’4” and Olympic rowers.” And we were like, ”Umm…”
What kinds of projects do you see yourselves doing in the future?
Max When we finally look like we’ve hit puberty, there’s some twin stuff out there we want. I’ve been reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, and I just go, ”Wow.” It’s an incredibly beautiful look at the relationship between two brothers. And you know, we’re twins, but first and foremost we’re brothers.