Pacific Rim’s Max Martini is All About Giving Back

“I would like to thank the soldiers returning from combat for the service to this country and for allowing myself, my wife and my kids to wake up in a free and safe land.” ~ Max Martini

Max Martini is no stranger to a pair of combat BOOTS. He wore his first pair on screen as Cpl. Fred Henderson in the blockbuster movie, Saving Private Ryan. He’s probably most recognizable with his on screen pair of BOOTS in the popular TV show, The Unit, as Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt. Later on this year, we’ll again be seeing him in this patriotic foot gear on the big screen alongside Tom Hanks in the movie Captain Phillips, portraying a SEAL commander. I figured that for Max, asking him to lace up a pair of the Boot Campaign combat BOOTS, would just be another day in the life. I was wrong.

He tells me, “What the Boot Campaign is doing for our soldiers is an incredible service and I encourage people to get involved and support [Boot Campaign]. I’m doing something extra to continue to show support. To me, that’s more meaningful than putting on my character’s boots.”

Born in New York, Max moved to Dallas, Texas after his parents separated. His mother remarried Actor/Director Stuart Margolin, who is best known for his role as “Angel” in the TV series Rockford Files. Max ended up in New York studying acting, graduated and got asked to audition for a part in the Robert Zemeckis’s movie, Contact, starring Jodie Foster. He’s been in 15 movies, countless TV series, and still going strong. But what impressed me the most about Max was not his filmography, but the size of his heart for charity, and specifically, his passion for giving back to our military and our veterans. Max tells me, “part of my mission is to try to set an example for other people to get involved, to try to use my voice as an actor, to encourage people to assist soldiers who are in need.” He’s gone on two tours to Iraq/Afghanistan as an entertainer, and although he thought he had an idea of what to expect, he tells me that his trips overseas “affirmed my job was more valuable, on certain level, than what I thought it was.”

His upcoming “job” includes the anticipated science fiction film, Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, which releases at the end of this week.  Max will be co-starring in it with two of our very own Boot Campaign celebrity supporters, Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman. Max plays the character Herc Hansen, a “jaeger-jockey” who will be piloting one of the giant robots with his son, Chuck Hansen, to save Earth from an alien attack.

But it was through another one of his upcoming movies, Captain Phillips, (a movie he describes as “The Unit on steroids”) that Max Martini first got introduced to the Boot Campaign. There, on set, he met and became friends with a Navy SEAL, whose wife just happened to be one our very own Virginia Boot Girls. Although Boot Girls  (no matter where we are located), can be pretty persuasive, it didn’t take that much persuasion at all to get Max Martini on board. He tells me, “If you’re a celebrity or some kind of public figure, you have a responsibility to do charity work, and there’s all kinds of causes to be involved in.” Personally for Max, this includes tackling issues like PTSD/TBI and homelessness in our military community.

In fact, Max has written a screenplay, Will Gardner, inspired by a true story of an Army Ranger who he met on one of his tours to Iraq. Will Gardner, according to Max Martini’s official website, is a “story of a homeless veteran who lives with the effects of traumatic brain injury.” Will subsequently borrows a Harley Davidson and road trips across America and reclaims his life back after combat. Max is currently trying to get this story made into a movie through a crowdfunding campaign to help raise awareness on this issue.  Max has recruited most of the former cast from The Unit to be a part of it, if it gets made. He plans to donate 50% of the profits to charities that deals with PTSD/TBI and homelessness in our veteran community.

It came at no surprise to me when at the end of our chat, Max confessed to me that he has a “soft spot for military and country.” I think a lot of us can relate with him on that.

To find out more information about Max Martini and/or his upcoming projects:

Follow Max on Twitter: @MaxiFrage

Follow Max on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PitStop101?ref=tn_tnmn

Will Gardner GoFundMe campaign:  http://www.gofundme.com/38170w