Brandon Flynn stars in Looks That Kill as Max, a teenage boy forced to hide his face with bandages after being born lethally attractive

By Alexia Fernandez
June 11, 2020 12:00 PM
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Brandon Flynn as Max in Looks That Kill
2020 American High

Brandon Flynn's good looks are getting deadly.

In a PEOPLE exclusive first look at his film Looks That Kill, Flynn, 26, stars as Max Richards, a teenage boy born with lethal good looks that will kill anyone who gets a glimpse of his face.

Forced to hide his visage in bandages, Max grows up isolated by the fear his bandages cause and bullied by those who don't believe in his deadly charms.

"We live in a world today that is sort of driven by dating apps and social media," the 13 Reasons Why actor tells PEOPLE. "A lot of people access these points on their phone or their computers that allow anonymity, but also allow this like curating of persona. You have this character Max that was sort of crafted in a way that he has to live a life that isn't that."

Adds Flynn, "His persona, his physical persona is wrapped up and lethal actually. So it's a boy who's really trying to find how to like let his soul and let his heart speak through his sort of disability, his sort of disadvantage in comparison to his peers and to his family members."

At the center of the Kellen Moore-directed film, Max finds himself falling in love with a girl (The Affair's Julia Goldani Telles) who has her own condition. The relationship allows both of them a chance to come out of their respective isolation.

Brandon Flynn and Julia Goldani Telles in Looks That Kill
2020 American High

Flynn says the message of human connection — something people across the world have struggled in finding amid the coronavirus pandemic — was definitely something he took away from his experience in filming.

"We're finding ourselves having all these deeper connections because we're lacking this sort of human contact, this sort of normal contact that we're so used to in our everyday life experiencing," he says. "And that has actually carried with me."

Flynn has been staying at home by himself amid the pandemic, although he's had company in the form of his dog, Charlie.

"I'm really enjoying it to be honest. I'm having a nice time," says Flynn, who spoke with PEOPLE weeks before the killing of George Floyd. "I'm so used to being at work. The last four years have been really heavy work-wise that I'm now settled into my own place and it's a new relationship that I'm finding with myself."

He continues, "Similar to Max in the movie, he has to like constantly combat this isolation and depression that he feels from literally like isolating his face from the rest of the world. And I feel like it's a similar experience, but less depressed. I'm more aware and inviting of the sort of alone time. It's precious and valuable in a way that I know once this is over and we move into another phase, it won't be that way."

Looks That Kill
2020 American High

"I'll be more pressed to be around people constantly and more pressed to like fulfill different parts of my job that required me to be not alone. So I'm trying to relish the sort of solitude experience I'm having."

If there's one thing Flynn has learned while social distancing at home, it's "routine," he says.

"[It's] kind of become a new skill for me," Flynn says. "I'm so used to being on someone else's schedule and just getting up and sort of tackling the day in someone else's prescribed way. Now I kind of have to develop this personal skill of what my own routine looks like."

A part of his new routine is "meditation," which he says has "become a really big asset and tool" to help him "pause and have more of an intention throughout the day."

The American High produced film (Big Time Adolescence, Banana Split) also stars Ki Hong Lee, Annie Mumolo, Lindsay Mushett, Priscilla Lopez and Tom Proctor.