Maximillian Carlo "Max" Martini is portraying Jason Taylor in the Fifty Shades of Grey movies.
Martini was born in Woodstock, New York, and was raised in the United States, Canada and Italy, and holds citizenships of all three countries. His father is Italian, and was born in Rome. Martini's mother, Patricia (Dunne), was a private investigator and parole officer, and his stepfather, Stuart Margolin, is a director and actor. As a teen, Martini attended and played football at Santa Monica High School as a kicker. A hamstring pull prevented him from trying out for the Seattle Seahawks and he turned his attention to acting. Max moved to New York City and studied acting, first at the Neighborhood Playhouse before continuing training at Michael Howard Studios. He then focused on his early love of fine arts by attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and receiving a B.F.A. in painting and sculpture. During that time, he spent weekends working at a skydiving center, where he completed over 500 jumps.
After college, Martini found steady work in various film and television projects. His film roles include co-starring opposite Jodie Foster in Robert Zemeckis' Contact as Willie, a fellow scientist with an affinity for brightly colored shirts, and sharing the screen with Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan as Cpl. Fred Henderson, ranking NCO of Pfc. James Ryan’s unit, who helped Cpt. John H. Miller and his men in the brutal final shootout of the film. Most recently, Martini co-starred in John Dahl's The Great Raid as 1st Sgt. Sid Wojo. He has also appeared in smaller independent films, working with Calista Flockhart in Jane Doe, Chris Penn and Jeffrey Wright in Cement and in the 2000 Sundance Film Festival fave, Backroads. In 1999, Martini wrote, co-directed and starred in Desert Son. His younger brother, Christopher, co-directed the film with him and his sister, Michelle, served as costume designer. In 2013 Max played the part of Herc Hansen in Pacific Rim.
TV and theater
Martini’s television credits include a lead role in the Sci-fi Channel’s Emmy nominated mini-series Taken and appearances as Agent Steve Goodrich on the second season of 24. He was also cast in X-Files creator Chris Carter's Harsh Realm and had a recurring role on the Canadian series Da Vinci's Inquest. He also appeared on Lie to Me. After memorable guest-star turns on popular series, including Numb3rs, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami, Martini landed a lead role on The Unit, a series about a team of top-tier US Army special operators in the field and at home, which was created by David Mamet and produced by Shawn Ryan of The Shield. Martini remains active in the theater, having co-founded the Theatre North Collaborative in New York City, a company of American and Canadian actors dedicated solely to producing new works from both sides of the border. In 2011, he appeared in an episode of Criminal Minds, in which he played a Navy SEAL called Luke Dolan.
Fifty Shades of Grey
On November 26, 2013, it was announced that Martini would be portraying Christian Grey's trusted bodyguard, Jason Taylor, in the film version of author EL James's erotic novel FIfty Shades of Grey, which is slated for release on February 13, 2015.