The Real Life of Maximilian Osinski could make for a memorable film in its own right. The six-foot-tall actor was born in a refugee camp in Austria to Polish parents who fled their communist homeland. they all finally arrived in the United States in 1983. Osinski grew up in Chicago with a love of art and theater, and was a dominant stage presence before gracing our TV and movie screens, but the physical ripped he made in season 3 of Ted Lasso (on AppleTV+) is something that took many years to perfect.
M&F sat down with the star, who now lives in London with his wife (Dichen Lachman) and daughter, to find out more about his fitness journey on and off camera.
To keep up with the Polish language, Osinski’s mother, Danuta, made him attend Polish school on Saturdays, and while he would have preferred to spend his weekends away from the classroom rather than in it, he realizes now that those Polish lessons are where the seeds of an acting career were truly sewn.
When Osinski’s teacher got tired of clowning around in front of his friends, he dared to take the stage and recite a poem instead. The performance went very well and so Osinski was enthralled by the opportunity to connect with an audience. Soon, he developed a thirst to learn more about the craft, consuming hours of “Inside the Actors Studio” episodes and continuing to attend Syracuse University to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Although Osinski’s passion for performance took root at an early age, he now believes he wasn’t very athletic as a child and accepts that a lack of understanding of nutrition has led to becoming overweight. “I struggled with my weight, especially as a teenager,” Osinski says. “I was not an athletic kid. We [as a family] never did track and field or track sports teams in Chicago. So it was never in the family’s DNA.
Hard work pays off for Maximilian Osinski
by Maximilian Osinski The biological father, Zbigniew or “Ziggy” as he was affectionately known, had to work incredibly hard to forge a life for his family in the United States, and that was never lost on a young Maximilian. The ability to keep moving forward in the face of adversity is central to how he found success as an adult actor. Ziggy sadly passed away last September, but Osinski recalls dad being very happy when he learned his son had booked a regular role on Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso. “He instilled a hard work ethic,” the actor explains. “Believe in yourself and just chase your dreams, because he did it for himself.”
After leaving college, Osinski was able to find representation in New York City and after many auditions and rejections along the way, our man started landing big roles. Many people will know Osinski as Agent James Davis in Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD” or Dennis in “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.” He’s appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies, but “Zava”‘s role in “Ted Lasso” Season 3 is perhaps his biggest yet.
On the show, streaming now, Osinski plays an ace football player (briefly introduced in Season 2) who is both charismatic and incredibly gifted. Osinski, who admittedly had no football skills, managed to score the role by venturing out to his local park and kicking the ball on film. Since the actor wasn’t much of a fan of the sport, a slow-motion art vignette was created before it was sent to the casting agents, and luckily the makers loved it. Osinski then hired a football coach to develop his abilities, but also understood that being larger than life on screen was also essential, as it could allow the public to forgive any potential mistakes in his footwork. The star has spent hours studying the greats like Eric Cantona, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Lionel Messi and other legends in the field. And so, whatever viewers think of Osinski’s football chops, they can’t ignore the incredible mental and physical shape he got himself into, in order to leave it all on the pitch.
Maximilian Osinski has a lasting relationship with nutrition
Finally taking control of his nutrition as a young man, Osinski realized that tracking calories didn’t mean he had to starve himself or feel less full, but this discovery came after some trial and error. mistakes to lose weight. “I would do some crazy stuff,” the actor shares. “I was putting trash bags around me and running around the block in the summer, just trying to sweat.” Nowadays, Osinski’s approach to staying in shape is much less dramatic. He uses the My Macros+ app to track his consumption. “Of course, I live my life. I go out for birthdays and on vacation, I don’t even look at a tracker, but I’m so much more food conscious in a way that I wasn’t, when I was growing up as a young kid,” says- he . “Now I can eat a big salad with chicken and it’s like, ‘it’s barely carbs.’ But if I want to, I can go get an ice cream bar and I’ll be like, “Okay, if I’m having this as a snack, I can probably go a little leaner for dinner.”
Even while cutting for Ted Lasso, Maximilian Osinski was still able to eat his favorite foods as long as he remained responsible for his total macros. “I find this, for me, the most sustainable way.” says Osinski, adding that he loves carbs way too much to fuel up on Keto. “I don’t feel like I’m on a diet, I feel like it’s just my lifestyle.”
Maximilian Osinski learned to love the process
“The pressure for me was that I just wanted to feel fitter and stronger,” says Osinski. “For me, now, my training routine is part of who I am as a person. I plan to train until I literally can’t take it anymore. Osinski works closely with his trainer, Ashley Bailey, and the duo went full gear to ensure the actor’s physique resembled that of a world-class striker in ‘Ted Lasso.’The week leading up to his shirtless scenes, Osinski reduced his carb intake until the day before the shoot, then explains that he refueled on starchy carbs, which helps make the muscle fuller.” Ash doesn’t do anything crazy, like; ‘You’re going to sit in a sauna for six hours,” laughs Osinski, who was aware he was playing the character of a world famous athlete, and wanted to honor that by getting the aesthetic right.
In preparation for “Ted Lasso,” Maximilian Osinski hit the gym four days a week, consisting of two upper body sessions and two lower body sessions. On days when they had football action sequences to film, Osinski trained the upper body sessions instead of exhausting his legs. “Being in a place where I’ve been, physically, has definitely put me in a position where when a role like Zava comes up for ‘Ted Lasso,’ I can do it,” the actor says. Still, Osinski points out that it was his toughest challenge yet, especially since it meant he would take off his shirt for the world to judge.
Coach Bailer had Osinski perform compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench press to work his major muscle groups. “They were heavy and tough as hell,” Osinski recalls. “But they make you look lean and strong, and that’s exactly what I needed for the role.” The star also did overhead presses and weighted pull-ups to further sculpt her physique. The actor says the experience of working on “Ted Lasso,” a much-loved sports comedy-drama, was overwhelmingly positive, noting that the entire cast was welcoming and supportive, and if the opportunity arose for Zava come back, he’ll be happy lacing up the boots one more time.
Still, Osinski did not finish the project unscathed. “You know, it’s funny,” he shares. “I was injury-free the whole time, then the last day of the last block of football, we were trying to do a close-up of Zava’s legs, and you’re tired, and for some silly reason, I just stood on the ball, with my cleats, and the ball rolled, and I sprained my ankle. Not bad, but just enough to be grateful that it’s the end of the day! For Maximilian Osinski, it’s just another day in the office for a hard-working actor.”I have that mentality now,” he shares. “It’s, ‘Stay read to be ready.'”