- Max Giorgio Choa Minghella
September 16, 1985 (age 35)
- Anthony Minghella, Carolyn Choa
Max Giorgio Choa Minghella (born 16 September 1985) is an English actor and filmmaker. He has appeared in several American films, making his debut in Bee Season (2005) before starring in Art School Confidential (2006), The Social Network (2010) and The Internship (2013). Minghella currently stars as Nick Blaine in the Hulu drama series The Handmaid's Tale.
Early life and education
Minghella was born in Hampstead, London, the son of director Anthony Minghella (1954–2008) and dancer and choreographer Carolyn Jane Choa. His father was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, and was of Italian descent, and his mother was born in Hong Kong. His maternal grandfather was of three-quarters Han Chinese and one-quarter Jewish descent, and his maternal grandmother was of Chinese, English, Irish, Parsi, and Swedish ancestry. His maternal great-grandfather was Hong Kong legislator Robert Kotewall, and his maternal great-great-grandfather was Calcutta-born businessman Emanuel Raphael Belilios.
Minghella spent time on his father's film sets while growing up, of which he has "fond memories" and has said that he felt "no pressure" by his father to succeed in the entertainment industry. He was educated at St Anthony's Preparatory School and University College School in Hampstead. He then attended Columbia University, which he considered his "first priority", and studied history, graduating in 2009. He typically worked on films only during his summer break. He said that he felt like "an English boy at an American school", that he kept to himself, and that most of his fellow students did not know that he was an actor.
Minghella was inspired to become an actor during his late teenage years, after seeing a production of the play This Is Our Youth in London's West End; he subsequently dropped out of the University College School to pursue an acting career, and attended the National Youth Theatre. He did not always want to become an actor. He said: "I thought it was sort of embarrassing to say you wanted to be an actor – it was, like, uncool. And growing up I was massively concerned with seeming cool. I thought up until about age 16 that I was going to be a music video director."
Minghella had an uncredited appearance as an extra in his father's film Cold Mountain. His first professional role was in Bee Season, playing the son of a dysfunctional Jewish American family. The film was released in November 2005 to mostly mixed reviews and low box office, grossing only $1 million in its limited release, although critics remarked that Minghella was "a talented young actor to watch, delivering a strong performance".
Minghella's other 2005 role was the political thriller Syriana, which was also released in November, and in which he played the son of George Clooney's CIA agent character. In 2006, he starred in the Daniel Clowes adaptation Art School Confidential, a comedy directed by Terry Zwigoff. He got the part after meeting Zwigoff when he visited the set of Bee Season. His film Elvis and Anabelle, a dark romantic drama in which he plays an undertaker's son, premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in 2007. He described it as "a really sweet film". He was to play Art Bechstein in the film version of writer Michael Chabon's novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, but dropped out of the project due to his university schedule.
The press reported in 2007 that Minghella was cast in Beeban Kidron's Hippie Hippie Shake, a film about writer Richard Neville set in 1960s London. In March 2008, it was announced that he would star in Alejandro Amenábar's second English language film, Agora. The film is set in 4th century Egypt and revolves around Hypatia of Alexandria. Later in 2008, Minghella played a pompous film director in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, and was seen in a segment of the dark comedy Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
In David Fincher's The Social Network, the 2010 film about the origins of Facebook, he plays Divya Narendra, one of the Harvard upperclassmen who sues Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the idea behind Facebook. In June 2010, Minghella was cast in the Russian science-fiction film The Darkest Hour, released in December 2011. He appeared in the ensemble dramedy 10 Years (2012). The following year, he had a supporting role as Graham Hawtrey in the comedy The Internship.
In November 2013, it was announced that Minghella would be playing Richie Castellano in the second season of the Fox sitcom The Mindy Project. In 2013, he appeared in the music video for "Shot at the Night" by The Killers.
Minghella made his directorial debut with 2018's Teen Spirit, a musical, from his own screenplay.