Julian Looman was born and raised in Vienna and studied acting, singing and dancing at the Conservatory of Vienna.
He has played lead and guest roles in a number of German, Austrian and Dutch series including Pagan Peak, CopStories, Maria Fängt Feuer, Beatrix, Oranje onder vuu and SOKO Kitzbühel and starred in Dick Maas’ feature film Prooi.
His European theatre roles are wide-ranging and include Soldier of Orange, in which he played the title role of resistance fighter Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, Sunset Boulevard, Anna Karenina and Cabaret. His role as Emcee won him Best Actor at the Aachen Theatre Awards and Best Newcomer as voted by the public.
What attracted you to The Mallorca Files?
When I read the script, what I really liked about it was the Moonlighting aspect. These are not only crime stories, but they are also about an ongoing relationship. That's something the audience will really warm to. You see Max and Miranda's relationship develop, and you don't know where it's going.
Can you expand on that?
It has that 'will they, won't they?' element to it that makes it really intriguing. Having the arc of the relationship between Miranda and Max running through the whole series is great. It's the reward you get if you watch from episode one to episode ten. I think audiences will get very emotionally attached to these two characters.
It's a very international production, isn't it?
Definitely. For a start, it is a story about a German and a British detective working together. But beyond that, there are a lot of different nationalities working on this programme. There are people from 16 different countries on set. We have become like a family. The message is that together we are stronger.
How would you describe the tone of the show?
I really enjoy dark crime stories, but this is very different from that. This is light, sunny and easy watching without losing its sense of sophistication. It has a retro feel - but in a good way.
It's a very diverse show that covers so many different genres from a Western and Heat to The French Connection, Ocean's 11 and The Hangover. At different times, it can be funny and sincere and even sometimes quite dark. I think that makes it really absorbing to watch.
Is that range reflected in the episodes?
Definitely. Each episode is so different from the others. There are episodes set in a vineyard, at a bike race, and at a posh villa that is being rented by a talent show. One episode has a dark underground setting that is filmed on a handheld camera. That will look like a spy thriller. In another episode, I'm cracking lots of jokes. There is such variety in The Mallorca Files.
How have you found it working with Elen?
I've been blessed in every way! She's in the same situation as me with a baby, and from day one, we have really supported each other. We think about the same things, and we are both sometimes sad that we not at home more! But it's great to have this joint experience and to enjoy it together.
Before filming began, did you know that you and Elen would hit it off?
Yes. We had 'chemistry readings' at the auditions in London. I tried out with a couple of different Mirandas, but it was immediately obvious that I had the best chemistry with Elen. As soon as we read the script together, it all fell into place.
Do you enjoy doing your own stunts?
Absolutely. I love the action sequences. On the first day, the stunt driver was sent home. Max's BMW and I have become big buddies! I don't want to see a double who doesn't look like me in those sequences. I really enjoy those scenes.
Do you think this drama will help to alter the public perception of Mallorca?
Yes. I definitely think it will change people's minds about the island. I know I had a prejudice about Mallorca before I made this show. I thought it was all stag and hen parties, girls on the beach in bikinis and lots of booze. But it turns out that it's a really beautiful place. It's incredible that such a small island has so much to offer.
Can you give us some examples?
The nature here is incredible. It has wonderful vineyards, mountains and sea. The food is marvellous, and Palma is such a cosmopolitan city. There is lots of amazing culture here - Joan Miró and Robert Graves both lived here. And lots of people come here to cycle through these gorgeous landscapes. I'll be really sad to go back home. I've fallen in love with this island.
Are you concerned that The Mallorca Files will be so popular that next year the island will be choked with tourists?
Yes! I'm afraid the show will attract more tourists. I'm thinking about getting a house here. But I'll have to buy before the series goes out, or there'll be none left!
What do you hope the audience reaction to The Mallorca Files will be?
I would love it if a viewer was in another room when he heard the title music for The Mallorca Files. He would run in and say, "Great, my favourite show is on!" I used to be like that with MacGyver and Baywatch. I think The Mallorca Files is such an enjoyable show.
Finally, what makes this stand out from more run-of-the-mill detective dramas?
There are a lot of crime stories where the two main detectives are slightly at odds with each other, but this one is very different. It freshens up the genre. The dust has been brushed off the detective drama. One of the main differences is that in The Mallorca Files the island is the third protagonist. It is such a lovely location. It adds so much to the show. It'll also really make people watch in the UK. People will switch it on and say, "I want a 45-minute vacation in my living room" - and that's exactly what they'll get with The Mallorca Files!