Jewish Journal

Felix Maximilian, Tel Aviv’s Hottest German Fan

Orit and Felix at a Tel Aviv cafe.

 

Gorgeous/Blonde-hair, blue-eyes (“Aryan looking”)/Over 180 m/Comfortable with intimate scenes.

This was the breakdown I posted on Facebook in search of an actor for my “Sanctified” music video that would serve as a trailer to my new novel, Underskin, about an Israeli-German romance spanning Berlin and Tel Aviv. (Warning: sexual content). No, this was not a ploy to make my art come true, but I will admit to good fortune in having to search for a beautiful German man whom I get to “sexually harass” on screen.

Felix Maximilian, a seasoned German actor who has starred in several German television shows, and who is about to shoot an international television show starring Tim Roth, heard about my casting call via a friend, and he could not resist the compliment. I could not resist his headshots (and body-shots and reel). He would make the perfect Sebastian! (Just read Underskin’s first chapter to understand.)

In between his traveling to Turkey, London, and Amsterdam, we met at a Berlin café, and I realized that he is not only gorgeous, but also kind and cool. Better yet: he loves Tel Aviv, having visited the city already three times, for both work and pleasure. His international agent also represents Gal Gadot, and his current modeling agency is based in Tel Aviv.

Maximilian grew up in the Bavarian countryside in a village named Falkenstein. He knew already at a young age he wanted to be an actor even though in his village “acting” was not considered a profession. In his teens, he travelled Europe and Asia as part of a famous boys choir because he sings, too. Upon earning a BA in Performing Arts from the University of Arts in Berlin, he starred in musical theater throughout Germany. But he set his sights on television and film.

“With my initial experience in musicals, I realized when I went into film and television that Germany thinks in a lot of boxes,” he said. “People warned me the business here is different in Los Angeles where actors are interdisciplinary. I was told here that when you do musicals you can’t be a real ‘actor.’ But I’m glad that I’ve proven them wrong. Germany’s industry is still in developing, but the quality of movies and TV shows are getting better and better.”

Felix is not an actor to think inside the box, which led him to take up an indie gig like mine. The project intrigued him, especially if it meant shooting in Tel Aviv.

“I love Tel Aviv because it’s very similar to Berlin,” he said to me another time over vegan, raw cheese at Berlin’s “Rawtastic” restaurant in which nothing on the menu is cooked. “It’s very free, the people are not small-minded, they’re open, and the food is amazing. It has an alternative vibe which is like in Berlin.”

Maximilian went vegan in the past few months and could not stop raging over his very active Instagram feed about all the yummy Tel Aviv vegan joints he tried. The municipality (and vegan associations) should have paid him.

But while Maximilian is a head-turner in Israel for his “exotic” German looks, he doesn’t think he’s so special– part of his charm and kindness.

“Here, in Berlin, I’m so average. I’m handsome average.”

And people wonder why I love Berlin so much. And he also has excellent taste in books.

“I loved your book,” he wrote me during his travels to Thailand where he sweetly posed with it against his perfect abs on the beach. “I felt stimulated. I laughed. I cried. It made me think and I learned. A must read for all Tel Aviv lovers!”

Hopefully, this is the start of a beautiful professional relationship. Following the shooting of “Sanctified,” he starred in the first of my new webisode series for Achgut.com in which I play Germany’s “shrink.” This first episode of “Germany on the Couch with Dr. Orit” touches upon a theme in my novel: Jewish-German Holocaust reconciliation.