The breakout star of Super Bowl XLV isn't a quarterback -- it's The Young and the Restless' own Max Page (Reed Hellstrom). In an ad for Volkswagen's 2012 Passat, Max played the oh-so-adorable boy in the Darth Vader costume who tries and fails to use the Force, until his dad helps him out by using the car's remote ignition.
In late December and early January, six-year-old Max and his mother, Jennifer Page, went through a series of auditions for a Volkswagen ad that would be Max's first national commercial if he won the role. It wasn't until halfway through the first day of shooting that the Pages realized that it wasn't just a national commercial -- it was a Super Bowl ad. Jennifer believes that Max was chosen because he acted so naturally.
Surprisingly, Max revealed to Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer on NBC's Today that he has never seen a Star Wars movie. A picture was all the inspiration he needed to channel the very scary Darth Vader.
Max has fought a real-life battle against the heart defect he was born with. He had his first surgery as an infant, and a pacemaker was installed shortly after that. In between maintenance visits to the hospital to make sure he stays in tip-top shape, Max runs and plays just like any other little boy.
"He's a real inspiration," Jennifer Page said about her son. "He can do anything!"
Despite the astonishing response to the Vader ad, Max told Viera that lots of people ask for his autograph "mostly because of Young and the Restless." Over fifteen million viewers have watched the ad on Volkswagen's YouTube page. One hundred million people saw his ad live during the Super Bowl.
Max began playing Reed Hellstrom in 2009. His other commercial work includes regional commercials for Clear Communications and Walgreen's.