Max Riemelt

Child actor turned award-winning character player Max Riemelt was a critically acclaimed and versatile actor in his native Germany who moved successfully from callow youth roles to complex turns in projects like "Free Fall" (2013), which in turn, led to attention from American and a starring role in the Netflix drama "Sense8" (2015-17). Born January 7, 1984 in East Berlin, Germany, he began performing in school plays at the age of eleven years, and made his television debut two years later in "Zwei Allein" (ZDF, 1997), which also marked his first turn in a leading role. The popularity of the program led to feature work in youth-oriented films like "Der Bar is Los" (2000). The following year brought Reimelt his breakout project: "Madchen, Madchen" ("Girls, Girls," 2001), a coming-of-age comedy about girls seeking more fulfilling emotional and physical relationships. A huge hit at the German and international box office, the film also marked the beginning of a lengthy working relationship between Riemelt and director Dennis Gansel. Their next collaboration, "Napola - Elite fur den Fuhrer" ("NaPolA: Hitler's Elite"/"Before the Fall," 2004), a boxing drama set during World War II, would take several years to reach German cinema, so Riemelt acted in and occasionally directed numerous episodes of television. When "Napola" finally saw release, it was a critical hit, and earned Riemelt a Best Actor Award from the Czech Republic's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2004. The recognition leads to more film work, most notably in "Nachtasyl" (2004) for director Hardi Sturm and "Der Rote Kakadu" (2006) for Dominik Grafs. In 2007, he reunited with Gansel for their third collaboration, "Die Welle" ("The Wave"), a dramatization of the infamous Stanford Prison experiment, which observed totalitarian rule in a confined society in 1971. Another huge box office hit, "The Wave" helped to bring Riemelt to international attention through a widespread global release, and he soon doubled his appearances in features and on television. He starred in a sprawling 10-episode miniseries, "In the Face of Crime" (ARTE, 2010), about the Russian Mafia in Germany, and reunited twice more with Gansel - once for the vampire film "We are the Night" (2010) and later, in the thriller "The Fourth State" (2012), though both were underperformers at the box office. Riemelt also embraced more complex, character-driven roles, such as the police officer who falls in love with a fellow male cop in "Free Fall," and an HIV patient who takes on the pharmaceutical industry in the TV drama "Blood Money" (ZDF, 2013). Two years later, Riemelt made his English-language debut in "Sense8," playing a German thief who discovers that he shares mental powers with seven other unique individuals across the globe. The series, created by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski, was a critical favorite and Emmy nominee, and helped usher Riemelt into Hollywood productions. The first of these was the thriller "Berlin Syndrome" (2017), which starred Teresa Palmer as a young backpacker who finds herself trapped in the apartment of the German man (Riemelt) with whom she has spent the night.