In the new Hulu comedy Maxxx, series creator O-T Fagbenle stars as the eponymous washed up boy band veteran who will do anything, including adopt a son for the free publicity, to score just one more hit record. He spends the first 6-episode season desperate to relaunch his career and win back his girlfriend, the English supermodel Jourdan Dunn. The series is produced by Luti Media, the same company behind music videos for the now defunct British boy band JLS, pop sensation One Direction, and, the solo efforts of Zayn. Given the production company is also owned by Fagbenle’s brother Luti, you’d be forgiven for thinking the character of Maxxx is based on a real person the Fagbenles have encountered over their years in showbiz.
But O-T Fagbenle insists that’s not the case. “I can honestly say there was no specific [inspiration], but we all recognize that personality,” he told Variety. Instead, Fagbenle says the idea came to him when he was working on a play in 2016, and he’s been pursuing it in fits and starts while juggling his starring roles in The Handmaid’s Tale and Marvel’s Black Widow movie.
That said, real life inspirations for the character abound. While writing the scripts for Maxxx, Fagbenle happened to watch After The Screaming Stops, a music documentary about the English pop band Bros. The three-piece act, consisting of twin brothers and their childhood friend, broke up in 1992; After The Screaming Stops follows the rise and fall of the band, including their 2017 sold out reunion tour.
The movie didn’t precipitate the show, but it did help convince Fagbenle there was truth to the story he’d set out to tell. “It’s so fun and funny,” Fagbenle told Variety. “I was well into writing Maxxx when that came out, but it felt like a documentary version of Maxxx in a way.”