Success of Super Bowl's mini 'Darth Vader' overwhelming to Golf Academy of America dad

Feb 7, 2011

He wasn't the biggest guy in uniform in Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast, but the little boy under the Darth Vader mask in the VW commercial was certainly one of the most popular.

"Acting is a godsend for Max. He's very good at it, but we can't believe how big this thing has become," said Buck Page about his six-year old son who played the ad's half-pint super-villain. The elder Page serves as National Career Services Director for Golf Academy of America, a two-year golf management and instructional college with campuses in four states.

Less than 24 hours after the commercial's airing, YouTube's playback of the ad had over 16 million viewings. In the sixty-second spot for the new 2012 Volkswagen Passat, the character played by Max tries, without success, to use "The Force" to affect an array of household items, even the family dog.

Max has appeared in a few regional commercials and has a role on the daytime drama, "The Young and the Restless," but the family didn't know his role as Darth Vader would appear in the Super Bowl until production of the spot was almost over. It is his first national commercial.

The media whirlwind for the southern California family started with a press conference two days before the Super Bowl kick off at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The Pages have spent quite a bit of time there during the last six years; Max was born with a congenital heart condition and received a pacemaker there when he was four months old.

"If any of this can bring attention to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, we're all for it. They've taken good care of Max," said Page.

On Monday after the big game, Max and his mother, Jennifer Page, appeared on NBC's "Today," MSNBC's "Morning Joe," "Access Hollywood," and other TV shows. Whenever possible, Jennifer mentioned Max's health challenges as a way of reaching out to parents whose children suffer from heart conditions.

"He can essentially have normal activity and with careful care, a full life is a reasonable expectation," Dr. Michael Silka, head of the cardiology department at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, told The Associated Press.

Read more about Max Page and his Darth Vader role in the recent VW commercial.

Golf Academy of America has campuses in San Diego, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and Phoenix. The college is owned and operated by Birmingham-based Education Corporation of America (ECA).