The force is with him: Young actor in Super Bowl ad has ties to Whitefish

Print Article

Max Page

A 6-year-old boy featured in today’s Super Bowl advertisement for the Volkswagen 2012 Passat has ties to Whitefish.

Max Page, who plays a mini-Darth Vader seeking to perform his powers on household objects including his parents’ new Passat, is the son of 1990 Whitefish High School graduate Jennifer Alderson Page and the grandson of Jim and Connie Alderson, who live in Whitefish six months out of the year.

Jim Alderson is the former North Valley Hospital financial manager who blew the whistle in the early 1990s on widespread Medicare fraud by two of the nation’s largest health-care companies.

He said his grandson has been acting since he was 3 and seems to be a natural.

“He just took to it,” Alderson said.

The Volkswagen Passat commercial, which has been getting lots of pregame hype, will air during the second and third quarters of Super Bowl XLV. With an audience of more than 100 million people, it’s pretty good exposure for an up-and-coming young actor.

Max’s mother said that thanks to YouTube, “Max is officially the coolest kid in school.” She said he had a blast making the ad.

Max apparently won the role because he hadn’t seen “Star Wars” and had no preconceived notion of how to act as Darth Vader, Alderson explained.

“They told him to act like a kid who hasn’t gotten his powers yet, and he did,” Alderson said. “The other kids [auditioning] tried to be too much like the real Darth Vader.”

Darth Vader is, of course, the central character and proponent of the dark side of “The Force” in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” saga.

The Page family didn’t know Max had snagged a national ad, let alone a coveted Super Bowl ad, until he was on the set filming it. It took a full 16 hours over two days to complete the 30-second piece, his mother said.

Max’s resume from his agent, the Buchwald Talent Group, is pretty impressive for a 6-year-old.

He’s been on 42 episodes of the CBS soap opera, “The Young and the Restless,” where he has an ongoing role as Reed Hellstrom, the grandson of Victor Newman. He also has appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and played a basketball player on the Disney Channel’s “Special Agent OSO.”

Max has been in numerous theater productions in the San Clemente, Calif. area. He was introduced to theater and music at an early age because his older stepsister performs in operas, and when he expressed interest in acting his parents found a local theater.

He has been in numerous theater products over the past three years, including “Aladdin” and “Grease.”

His first theater teacher saw the boy’s potential and encouraged his parents to seek an agent.

“He has a knack for memorizing lines quickly,” his mother said, “and he’s very directable and smart.

“He found success pretty quickly,” she said, adding that Max also knows what rejection is like. “You’ll go out for 100 auditions and land five things. He knows it’s part of acting.”

Max is a kindergartner at a home-school cooperative that offers classroom instruction and home-school classes alternately. That allows him the flexibility to get to the soap-opera studio about a 75-minute drive away from home when he needs to be on the set.

“He’s a member of the Screen Actors Guild,” Alderson said, explaining that his grandson hasn’t seen many of the movies nominated for Academy Awards since they’re R-rated.

“I tell him, ‘Grandpa would like to see Julia Roberts nominated,”” Alderson said with a laugh.

Coincidentally, Volkswagens and the Alderson family go way back. Alderson drove a VW Karmann Ghia in his college days and when he first moved to Whitefish. Jennifer’s first car was a used VW Rabbit she bought from then-Whitefish Pilot Editor Bart Smith.

According to a New York Times article, Volkswagen has ambitious plans to more than triple sales in the United States by 2018. The new Passat and redesigned New Beetle — which also is featured in a Super Bowl commercial today — are centerpieces for the company’s marketing strategy.

Max and his younger brother, Ellison, 5, have spent time during the summers at their grandparents’ home in Whitefish, where they like to bop around the golf course. Acting is just one of Max’s many interests at the tender age of 6; golf, baseball, soccer, piano lessons and playing games on Wii get varying amounts attention.

Today the Pages are hosting a family Super Bowl party.

“Max will root for whoever’s ahead in the fourth quarter,” his mother said. “He rides the fence a lot.”

To view a preview of the Volkswagen ad, go to


Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or by e-mail at


Darth Vader Super Bowl Commercial


Darth Vader Super Bowl Commercial Room

Print Article

Read More Local News

Double-helix staircase a focal point of Many Glacier restoration

April 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Daily Inter Lake Building a spiral staircase involves some tricky math. And building a double-helix staircase on its original footprint in a century-old lodge is even trickier. Over the past year several local craft...


Read More

Driver ‘an accident waiting to happen’

April 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Daily Inter Lake A driver going down Ninth Street West reportedly cut off another vehicle, nearly clipping it, before running a red light. The caller told Columbia Falls Police that the vehicle was also traveling ove...


Read More

Glacier eyes ‘one car in, one car out’ rules to ease crowding

April 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Hungry Horse News If the crowds of last summer continue, Glacier National Park is considering implementing a “one car in, one car out,” plan for some of its dead-end roads, Superintendent Jeff Mow said last week durin...


Read More

Karas: FVCC success shaped by community input

April 29, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Daily Inter Lake The leader of Flathead Valley Community College stood before the Montana Legislature on a recent spring day and asked for approval of the school’s most recent project: operating a brew house and — ...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy