THE MAX FACTOR IS SEX.
And now the young star who bared all in the sexy costume drama reveals why he's the hottest body on the box.
"I go to the gym around four times a week,"" says 26-year-old Max. ""I've always been fit, I like keeping fit. I used to be quite insecure about my looks when I was younger, so I really wanted to make my body good. It gives me a buzz."
But Max, who doesn't drink or smoke, hasn't always been so clean living.
Before he made his name in Tom Jones, the Manchester-born actor enjoyed a wild four years after joining ex-Jam frontman Paul Weller's band as a keyboard player when he was just 18.
He wrote songs and music for a string of artists - including Mica Paris, with whom he had a fling.
And he worked as a backing musician for Take That where he had his fair share of groupies.
"I was a bit of a naughty boy," admits Max. "But I wouldn't say I used anyone, because groupies know what they are doing.
"I liked meeting girls. I love beautiful women - I can't help it. I am a very sexual person. I went round the world with Weller and there were women everywhere.
"For me, at that time, sex felt like a physical workout. It was that basic. In the morning I would get up feeling I'd had a great session in the gym.
"My vices weren't drugs - they were booze and women.""
But all that's in the past. Max recently got engaged to beautiful 22-year-old Scottish Nigerian actress Carmen Ejogo, who starred in Metro with Eddie Murphy.
"I'm not really big on marriage,""says Max. "I got Carmen an engagement ring as a token of love but I don't want to be forced into doing something that is socially dictated. I think it's a bit of a farce.
"If your heart is with someone it is with someone and that will do for me." "
The new clean-living Max would rather lift weights in the gym than pints in the bar.
A year ago he joined the trendy Harbour Club in Fulham, West London.
"I got a membership deal," he says. ""It can be a bit expensive but you get your deposit back if you leave so it isn't that bad. I like it there because the atmosphere makes it easier to work out.
"I've belonged to those prison-like gyms before but they're very basic. I'm afraid I like the poncey element - I like a gym that does a bit of pampering on the side - and the staff at The Harbour are really cool. Working every day for months on a period drama can be really draining, especially when you are in nearly every scene - and it's best not to leave your fitness arrangements to the catering wagon.
"When I'm working I always make sure I take Vitamin B and C, as well as Echinacea which is an absolutely fabulous herb extract from Switzerland that helps to build the immune system.
"I normally get flu three times a year at least and I've only got it once this year since I've been taking that.
"It helps you to stay focused on your job if you're fit. I couldn't handle getting drunk and then having to get up in the morning.
"But I'm not daft - if I'm working really hard I don't do the gym as well. We spent a lot of time filming night shoots on Tom Jones and it was really tiring.
"If I'd'done the gym as well I would have killed myself!""
Max reckons his mental outlook keeps him fit, too. Four years ago he became a Buddhist.
"It's kept me grounded and focussed," he says.
"So when we were filming for five months I wasn't boozing. Instead I was getting up early each morning and working my butt off.
"But I still make sure I take time to relax. I treat myself to the odd alternative therapy.
"I do flotation tanks a lot and I think they're beautiful. It's like having a really good sleep.
"I try to do one a month or at least just before and after I work."
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|Author:||Udall, Linda; Burrows, Lisa|
|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||Dec 21, 1997|
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