Home Entertainment Stars of Canneseries Highlight ’Máxima’ Discuss Following in the Footsteps of ‘The...

Stars of Canneseries Highlight ’Máxima’ Discuss Following in the Footsteps of ‘The Crown’ 


Germany’s Beta Film is bringing the love story between a Dutch prince and a beautiful Argentinian financier to the Croisette. The world premiere of “Máxima” screens out-of-competition at Canneseries on April 9 after being teased at the London TV Screenings in late February.

The six-hour-long episodes chronicle the whirlwind romance between the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, played by Martijn Lakemeier (“Goodbye Stranger”) and bubbly financier Máxima, played by Argentinian breakout Delfina Chaves (“The Secret of the Greco Family”). Directed by Saskia Diesing alongside Joosje Duk and Iván López Núñez, the series is adapted from Dutch journalist Marica Luyten’s biography on Queen Máxima, “Máxima Zorreguieta: Motherland.” 

Speaking to Variety ahead of the “Máxima” premiere at Cannes, Chaves says she feels “extremely lucky” for the opportunity to play the titular Queen onscreen, not only because of the role itself but also because of the scale of the production, which saw the cast travel across the world — from Spain to New York to the Netherlands — to tell the lesser-known love story between Máxima and Willem-Alexander. 

“We are telling the story about this famous family, but I am also telling the story of someone from Argentina who met someone and had to sacrifice so much, move to another country for love and become a Queen. It’s a lot about how Maxima stayed human, true and transparent. The Argentinian side of her is still there and it’s so beautiful to watch.”

When asked about the responsibility of playing real-life royals, much like with Netflix’s hit show “The Crown,” Lakemeier added: “I wanted to stay as true as possible to what they were going through and feeling at the time, and those are personal, behind-closed-door things. There was some creative freedom to fill in these gaps and think about what they must have gone through, and that’s where we’re touching a universal side of the story, something that makes them human.”

While Netflix’s multiple-Emmy-winning series “The Crown” benefited from a somewhat global knowledge of the British royal family’s affairs, “Máxima” gets to introduce international audiences to not only the details of the early stages of Máxima and Willem-Alexander’s romance but much of the turmoil that followed. When the two got married in 2002, Máxima’s father, Jorge Zorreguieta, was not allowed to come to the wedding, because he had served as Secretary of Agriculture under the dictatorship regime of General Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina.

Commenting on the importance of broaching Argentina’s complicated political past with “Máxima,” Chaves emphasised the “sensitivity” with which the subject is touched upon in the series. “Nowadays, so many people say things didn’t happen the way they happened, so many have forgotten about it, and it’s so important to keep reminding people because, for me, this is the only way to prevent it from happening again. I am thankful and proud to be part of something that teaches people about what happened.”

“The educational level that [‘Máxima’] has about Argentina is mainly for European audiences and a very important element,” added Lakemeier. “At the same time, [it’s done] with a lot of respect for Máxima.”

Chaves is also grateful for the decision to have a casting call for an Argentinian actress to play Máxima and to have the production team come to Argentina to better understand the country’s culture, especially when she believes it would have been “easier and cheaper production-wise” not to. 

“I saw it as respect for my culture, to have people saying they wanted Máxima to be interpreted by an Argentinian. There is something about culture that is impossible to teach, and it would have been very different if it was a Dutch actress playing the Queen.”

While Chaves landed the role through auditioning, Lakemeier was contacted directly by the production team to play Willem-Alexander. On top of starring in “Máxima,” the Dutch actor stars as a series regular on hit show “Marie Antoinette” and is currently shooting Mark Williams’ (“Ozark”) upcoming show “Safe Harbor” opposite Alfie Allen, Charlie Murphy and Jack Gleeson.

“It’s extremely exciting,” Lakemeier says of his current career momentum. “I’m very tired because leading a series is a lot of work, we started in October and go on until May, but it’s an amazing experience. I’m next to an incredible international cast from whom I learn a lot and play in a different language, so it’s a wave of learning and I’m really grateful for it.”

“Máxima” is produced by Rachel van Bommel of Millstreet Films and co-produced by FBO and Beta Film, with the support of the Dutch Film Fund Production Incentive, the Creative Europe MEDIA program and the Belgian Tax Shelter. The series will be available on RTL Netherlands streamer Videoland from April 20.