Rising Star: Samantha’s ‘Sex And The City 2’ Man — Max Ryan

This weekend, gaggles of gals from across the globe will be tossing on their finest Friday night frocks, strapping up their strappiest pair of too-high sandals and grabbing jewel-embellished cluchtes as they head out en masse for “Sex and The City 2’s” opening weekend, the Fab Four’s second big screen trip. While Sarah Jessica Parker has said the sequel is a “romp,” she’s kept a delicious secret – the film features one of the grandest entrances by a leading man in the last decade – “SATC” franchise newcomer and AccessHollywood.com’s newest Rising Star — sexy silver fox, Max Ryan, who hits the screen in what can only be described as an explosion.

“It was good though, must admit,” Max chuckled of his entrance, after Access recounted for him the spontaneous gasps for breath the scene elicited from a room full of theatergoers at a notoriously quiet “industry” screening.

Good? Try epic! Max’s desert arrival is an entrance on par with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson, striding down the “Titanic’s” opulent staircase to the ship’s great dinner party, a striking vision in white. It’s as manly as any of Russell Crowe’s (as general-turned-“Gladiator” Maximus) marches into the Colosseum, full of titillating alpha-male bravado. It’s not far off either from watching Daniel Craig – and his rippling, soaked muscles – emerging from the sea in those itty-bitty light blue swimming trunks. So big, in fact, was Max’s “SATC2” entrance that for the first time – the entire Fab Four – Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda — went slack-jawed. In unison.

“It’s funny because my background is action, so nothing really phases me when it comes to that kind of thing, but to be honest, on the day when [‘SATC 2’ writer/director/producer] Michael Patrick King was doing his voodoo that he does, it just got bigger,” the Brit laughed of filming the scene. “It just became something really unique… Even I was like, ‘Wow! This is something else.’”

In a host of films like “Death Race,” alongside action star legends like Steven Seagal, Jet Li and Jason Statham, Max has played bad guys and bad boys, but even before this latest project’s release, his brief appearance in a promo clip from the movie, has already brought him a host of attention, the kind fitting of a superstar-in-the-making.

“People in the hotel, people in the street… This is crazy,” he said. “I’m like, ‘How can you recognize me off a trailer?’ It’s strong, but it’s ever so short.”

Longer, of course, is his “SATC 2” role – as the entirely dashing Danish businessman Rikard Spirit — part pale-skinned and light-eyed desert hunk Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia” and with a twist of Russell Crowe’s controlled out-of-the-ring “Gladiator” roughness. In this breakout role, Max reels in Kim Cattrall’s maneater Samantha, despite a pool full of Australian rugby rogues in very, very, very tight-fitting Speedos.

He does it – unlike his past work – with no fists, just man mojo.

“It was funny — when I was on set, I was like, ‘So I ‘m not being killed, I don’t have to kill anybody and I’m gonna be cool?’ I’m like, ‘Way to go!’” Max laughed. “No furrowed brow or anything. I was like, ‘This is gonna be a real challenge.’ And you know what, it was fantastic.”

The challenge though, in playing the kind of man whose glances are more important than his words, was an unusual one for the actor. Used to playing tough guys, the director told Max to play himself.

“This is the real person that I am. I’m not really that guy — that gnarly, nasty creature that hides behind tattoos and a weird haircut and crazy [eyes],” Max, who grew up in Northern England, Italy and California’s Laguna Beach, said. “Michael Patrick King saw something inside me, which is realistically who I am. I mean, let’s not go too far. I don’t really prance around the desert in a jeep on a daily basis.”

A side not seen of Max’s in the film (although SPOILER: there are many) is that of a family man. He’s one of six close children – a “Brady Bunch” style brood of three sisters and two brothers (he’s in the Peter position — the middle brother), and he is clearly very adoring of his “mum” (Brit speak for mom) Lynette. He even took her to the New York City premiere, where she cleared it with her son before answering questions from reporters about her son’s body parts on screen.

”‘What if I say, ‘I’ve changed his diapers for many years?’” he recounted of her preparation in regards to questions about Max’s revealing scenes.

Lynette will likely have to gather up a few more responses to questions as her son’s star is on a steep trajectory to the skies. Max is leaping from “SATC2” to “Medallion,” a thriller opposite fellow Brit Clive Owen, where the contract ink is still too wet to talk about, and he’d love to tackle a “Romancing the Stone”-style film now that “SATC2” has whet his lady-target movie appetite.

“How cool would it be to have a crack at Bond as well?” he added. “That’d be something else. I’m English. Who knows?”

First though, Max has realized that playing Sam’s boy toy has become a real game changer, one that’s ready to take him on a new, different kind of ride than he’s known.

“Michael Patrick King said, ‘You’ve gotta buckle up,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ I knew it all,’” Max laughed, thinking of the lessons he’s since learned. “I was promoting the film in Cannes and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger and I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m in this huge tsunami, which is just going and going and swallowing everything up and I’m part of this whole thing.’”

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