Meet MAX RYAN, the hunky new star of this month’s highly anticipated Sex and the City 2.

  • Image about actor-my-big-fat-greek-wedding-law-order-the-golden-globe-americanway
MAX RYAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN A BIT OF AN ADRENALINE JUNKIE. Not only is the handsome Brit a former motocross star, but he performed death-defying stunts while playing villains in films such as Kiss of the Dragon, Death Race and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen opposite action heroes like Jet Li, Jason Statham and Sean Connery.

But such high-risk habits can have dangerous results, as Ryan knows all too well: In March, a motorcycle accident landed him in the hospital with five broken ribs and a cracked collarbone. So these days, Ryan is getting his kicks in a whole new way: playing feisty Samantha Jones’ latest conquest in this month’s Sex and the City 2. Ryan admits that his new status as a heartthrob has taken a little getting used to. “I have a lot of fun playing the bad guy,” he says, laughing. “So this leading-man thing has been interesting. It entails a very different type of stunt, that’s for sure!”

In the much-hyped sequel to 2008’s Sex and the City movie, which was based on the popular HBO series, Ryan plays Rikard, a European architect who piques Samantha’s interest. When pressed for more details, though, the 43-year-old actor buttons his lips. “They’re keeping it under lock and key,” he says. “I’ll be drawn and quartered if I say anything.”

And Ryan, who never watched the show prior to being cast, knows better than to take any chances. “When I got my script, it had my name printed right across the top of the page,” he says. “So as soon as I was done reading it, I shredded every page of my script. I just kept telling myself, ‘There is no way I’m being held responsible if this thing gets out.’ ”

Still, the single actor, who splits his time between Los Angeles and his native England, did take one thing home from the set: dating tips. Most notably, diplomacy — a skill Ryan employs when asked which of the four SATC ladies is his type. “All of them are so unique and interesting, it’s hard to pick just one,” he says wisely. “How can any man make a decision like that? They’re all so funny and intelligent and fantastic. There’s something in their eyes, and the energy on set was just electric. With this movie, everyone will fall even more in love with these ladies.”

And lest men think this is nothing but a chick flick, Ryan insists there’s something in it for the fellas too. “I think all men should watch this movie because it really helps clarify the opposite sex,” he says. “It’s really quite educational.”

REIGNING MEN

We catch up with some of Sex and the City’s most memorable men — past and present — to see what else they’ve been up to.

1. CHRIS NOTH
Noth once again joins the women in SATC 2 as Mr. Big, Carrie’s one true love. But the Golden Globe–nominated actor also clocked nearly a decade off and on as Detective Mike Logan on Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent before signing on to play shamed state attorney general Peter Florrick on the smash CBS drama The Good Wife.

2. RON LIVINGSTON
The Office Space icon played Carrie’s bookish boyfriend Berger — you know, the one who broke up with her on a Postit note. Since then, he’s been Defying Gravity on the short-lived ABC space drama and filming upcoming flicks including Dinner for Schmucks, which co-stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd.

3. JOHN CORBETT
Corbett’s turn as sensitive Aidan earned him plenty of adoration, and he’s kept up the good-guy vibe in films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Raising Helen as well as in his current gig on Showtime’s United States of Tara. Up next is July’s Ramona and Beezus, an adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s popular children’s series.

4. KYLE MACLACHLAN
As buttoned-up cardiologist Trey MacDougal, MacLachlan stole — and eventually broke — Charlotte’s heart. Since leaving the show in season four, the former Twin Peaks star has been going steady as drunken, depressed dentist Orson Hodge on Desperate Housewives.

5. JASON LEWIS
Lewis played Samantha’s longtime leading man, Jerry “Smith” Jerrod, he of the rock-hard abs and tender heart. And while Lewis only cameos in the Sex sequel, he’s got plenty more on his plate, including a recurring gig on Brothers & Sisters and indie films like The Life & Death of Bobby Z and September’s Textuality.

6. EVAN HANDLER
The unlikely union of Charlotte and brash, bald lawyer Harry Goldenblatt has remained rock-solid — so it’s no surprise that Handler reprises his role in the SATC sequel. Fans can also catch Handler on the Showtime drama Californication, featuring fellow SATC alum David Duchovny.