Into Global Stardom with Maxime Bouttier

Having explored the realms of acting, modelling and music, Maxime Bouttier talks about his journey in the entertainment industry and shares his experience of working with Hollywood giants in the romantic comedy “Ticket to Paradise”

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Throughout the past decade, we have seen more and more Indonesian names making their debut on the global stage, whether it’s in film, music and beyond. And this year, we’re seeing yet another talented figure representing the country to the world at large—the talented Maxime Bouttier. Bouttier grew up in a French-Indonesian family and spent his childhood on the island of the gods. While his professional journey began with a range of modelling jobs, he now has a solid portfolio of soap operas, web series and films, making him one the most prominent young actors in Indonesia. “I started as a model in Bali. I became self-conscious about asking for money from my parents, so I started to do some modelling and that’s how I met my manager,” Bouttier reminisces. About seven months later, he received an offer to go to Jakarta and try his hand at acting. Despite his initial dreams of getting into music, Bouttier flew to Jakarta and started auditioning and soon landed his very first role. Some of Bouttier’s early credits were for TV series such as “Nada Cinta,” “Putri Duyung,” “Vampire” and “Cahaya Terindah.” But the one title that arguably catapulted his name into stardom was the 2017 series “Bawang Merah Bawang Putih,” a modern twist on a popular Indonesian folktale similar to “Cinderella.” Bouttier plays Reza, the love interest of Putih, who was played by Prilly Latuconsina.

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“It wasn’t my first time playing a character like that; so I was having fun.” Bouttier recalls his time working on the show. Other title Bouttier has added to his portfolio include “Arti Sahabat,” “Terbang Bersamamu,” and “Janji Di Atas Ingkar,”.
Being a soap opera star has definitely introduced Bouttier to a plethora of new challenges and experiences. The demanding routine and tight schedule during the shooting of “Bawang Merah Bawang Putih” was definitely memorable for the young actor. “When you start a new production, you start off fresh and want to do something new for the first episodes. But at one point, you become very tired because you don’t get breaks and stuff,” he points out. Pacing also plays an important role in the shooting of soap operas due to long working hours, which can go all the way up to 18 to 19 hours a day. “It’s a very good learning opportunity anyway because you become snappy,” Bouttier adds.
Besides soap operas, Bouttier has also made quite a few big screen appearances. So far, he has played in more than 20 films, starting with the 2012 drama “18++ Forever Love.” The latest entry in his filmography, however, is the upcoming romantic comedy “Ticket to Paradise.” Starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, the movie will mark Bouttier’s Hollywood debut—which naturally has taken the Internet by storm. Being a fan of the two veteran actors, Bouttier never dreamt about being cast in the same movie as them. “It was nerve-racking. I’ve never thought it would have been possible to play opposite George Clooney and Julia Roberts. I mean, I love watching “Ocean’s Eleven” with two of them in it. I love the whole cast and I’ve always wanted to watch them together,” Maxime reminisces. “It was very exciting and I was so nervous. The experience was dream like.”

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“Ticket to Paradise” tells the story of divorced parents David and Georgia (played by Clooney and Roberts, respectively) who flew to Bali upon learning that their daughter Lily (played by Kaitlyn Denver) is about to marry someone she just met. Bouttier plays Gede, Lily’s love interest. “Gede is a very modern Balinese, but he is very in touch with the nature around him. He never relinquishes that side of him and he never lets go of his Balinese identity,” Bouttier elaborates. “He is a seaweed farmer who sells his products overseas, so he is pretty modern, pretty mature. And then he met Lily and she falls in love with this ‘prince.’ So, yes, he is kind of the prince charming of the story.”
Interestingly, this movie also forced Bouttier to prepare himself physically. To better play the role of a seaweed farmer, he underwent a four-month workout and diet program, which proved to be quite the challenge. “When COVID happened, I had to stay home.I ate a lot, so I had to lose weight. Eventually, I lost 10 kilos for that movie,” he confesses. “That was pretty challenging, especially during the first month.” In some scenes, Bouttier is also seen driving a boat—and for this, he actually had to obtain a license. Despite these challenges, Bouttier is grateful for the opportunity. “I hope I did it. The director said I was good; I think I overcame the challenge,” he adds. During his acting journey, Bouttier has delved into rom- com, drama and even horror, yet there are still a number of genres he wishes to try. “I want to do a big action movie or an adventure flick or a noir film,” he says. “I’ve had drama, romance, comedy and horror, but never really experienced the real kind of drama.” When it comes to specific roles he would like to explore, Bouttier apparently has an interest in psychopath characters. “The Joker … everybody loves the Joker. Loveable villains, I guess? I mean, the kind of character that allows the audience to see the reason of their origin,” he explains. As for his role models, Bouttier mentions George Clooney, of course, along with Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale.

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Outside acting, Bouttier has proven himself to be quite the musical genius as well. He admits that music has always been part of his life, having  explored a plethora of bands and genres since he was a kid. But when he stumbled on the works of English rock band Muse, he became passionate about producing and performing his own music. “That was during my teenage years and now I have the means to produce my own creations,” he says. Bouttier mentions Indonesian bands Radja, Ratu and Peter Pan as the first groups he listened to. “As I grew older, I started to listen to Eminem and 50 Cent, and then I listened to Simple Plan,” he adds. “But then my dad showed me this Queen, Metallica, Led Zeppelin—the heavy stuff, basically. So, yeah, music has always been in my childhood.” Bouttier’s passion for music has led him to create his own YouTube channel, MAXIME. Through this platform, along with Instagram, Bouttier has shared his musical performances, including covers of popular songs by the likes of Muse, Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys. One memorable piece that stands out, however, is an EDM opus titled “Cyberslave.” Combining elements of synthwave, Japanese city pop with the aesthetics of cyberpunk, the song is a collaborative creation with a friend of his and illustrates people being stuck in a simulation-like system. “I made ‘Cyberslave’ during the pandemic. We were home for three or four months, stuck in a nonsense routine,” he explains. “Everything was done through a screen and you met people through Zoom or Skype. I felt like I was in simulation, so I made that song.” Furthermore, Maxime has also collaborated with Agatha Chelsea on a track titled “Sunset” for the 2018 movie “Meet Me After Sunset.”

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Despite his busy schedule, Maxime is still able to find solace in video games. Traveling is also another activity he is deeply passionate about. Ending the conversation, Bouttier shares his outlook for what’s ahead. “I have never really hoped for anything; I just work hard as much as possible and I have never taken anything for granted,” he muses. “As for the Indonesian entertainment industry, I see that it’s time for us to get bigger, like Korea. They started slow but became bigger and bigger, and I think Indonesia is next. So, I hope we’ll continue that way and not lose hope.”