Maxwell Jenkins, of Netflix's 'Lost in Space,' has deep Chicago roots

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Netflix just renewed the new "Lost In Space" series, and it has some major Chicago connections.

ABC 7 Chicago sat down with Maxwell Jenkins, the actor who portrays the new Will Robinson and who just happens to be heading into 8th grade on the North Side.

"So one thing led to another, and I'm Will Robinson," Maxwell proclaimed with a broad smile.

Jenkins plays the newest incarnation of the marooned child astronaut Will Robinson.

"It's honestly a dream come true, because Will Robinson, to me, is a mix between a kid nowadays and Spock," he said

Jenkins is a kid nowadays. We met him at his North Side elementary school as he wrote a letter to his 8th grade self along with his classmates.

"I feel like Marty McFly right now," Maxwell quipped as he wrote to his future self.

But Chicago is in Jenkins' blood. At 3 years old he started performing in the family's Midnight Circus, raising money for neighborhood parks.

"We go from Englewood on the South Side to Oriole Park on the North Side, and getting to bring those communities together, that's the best," Jenkins said.

"He found his passion and his talent, and he's running with it," said Maxwell's dad, Jeff Jenkins. "But he's incredibly humble, and kind, and hardworking, and his feet are planted firmly right here in Chicago."

Maxwell's mom Julie beamed with pride.

"I'm excited to see what he'll ultimately do," she said.

"It was an adventure. It was a amazing," Maxwell said of filming a big Netflix show.

But, Chicago's where it's at.

"It has a strong community and that's why we love it here," Jenkins said.

Maxwell still has another year left at Coonley Elementary before he heads to high school but he's headed out of this world again soon. Season two of "Lost in Space" starts filming in just a matter of months.

The Jenkins say even with Maxwell's new world-wide acclaim the Midnight Circus in the Park is still a top priority.

They say they've raised close to $1 million for neighborhood parks in Chicago since they started back in 2007.
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