“We both had a connection that pushed us to the limit.” Harriet Herbig-Matten and Damian Hardung talk their on screen chemistry while filming Maxton Hall — The World Between Us

In the new German television series Maxton Hall — The World Between Us, secrets, clashes, and an unlikely romance filled with sparks and drama occurs at a prestigious private school. The series premiered on Prime Video on May 9, and was just renewed for a second season. Young Entertainment chatted with Damian Hardung and Harriet Herbig-Matten, who play James Beaufort and Ruby Bell to learn more about their characters, how they built chemistry offset which translated into their enemies to lovers trope on screen, and how they prep for auditions. 

Maxton Hall — The World Between Us is based on the book Save You by Mona Kasten, and follows Ruby Bell, who witnesses an explosive secret at Maxton Hall private school. She gets put on the radar of millionaire heir James Beaufort who is determined to silence her, but their clash ignites an unexpected spark between them. The series became an instant success, achieving the highest global viewing numbers of a non-American original in the history of Prime Video in its first week, and it was just renewed for a season two. 

Harriet: ”For me it was to make this love believable, that she is falling in love with someone she thought she hated.”

Damian made his acting debut with short movies and he has since played Jonas Neumann in all three seasons of the television series Club der roten Bänder, Ado in the show The Name of the Rose, Daniel Riffert in the German Netflix series How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast), and Winnie Wolf in the show Our Wonderful Years

Harriet landed her first professional role in a 2015 short film and has since starred in the television series Bibi & Tina, Teenosaurus Rex, and The Fairy Tale of the Magic Flute

Harriet: “We both had a connection that pushed us to the limit, and we had a similar way of going into character.”

Harriet said to prepare for her audition, she read the Maxton Hall series from Mona Kasten, so she had a lot of material on her character already. Damian said he likes to prepare emotionally for his auditions, and understand his character’s goals and arc over the course of the story. 

Damian: “I love doing emotional diaries so just letting the pen decide what’s coming up. For me personally, connecting to that goal and then trying to take whatever came up to put that in the scene.”

We asked both Damian and Harriet how they would describe each other’s characters and Damian described Ruby as “Intelligent, stunning and heartwarming.” Harriet laughed by saying James is “arrogant, broken, but also has potential.” Overall, the two said they both pushed each other emotionally and built up a solid foundation of trust, which translated well on screen. 

Damian: “I worked with Harriet and she was just going all the way with her character, and so she kind of didn’t leave me any choice but to go that way with her.”

Damian said he enjoyed playing James because of how challenging and emotionally rewarding it was, seeing him let his guard down and fight for his love for Ruby. Harriet said her favorite thing was working to make this love between James and Ruby believable, even through Ruby’s pain and inner conflict of falling for someone she thought she hated. 

Thank you, Damian and Harriet, for chatting with Young Entertainment. Follow them on their Instagram at @damianhardung and @harriet.herbigmatten. Watch the rest of the video where we ask them more about how they built up their connection and trust off screen, their favorite part of playing their characters, and their audition prep. 

Consider this:

  • If there is prior information on a character you are auditioning for, whether it be in the form of a book or prequel, take the time to read and study your character and the overall story. 
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about boundaries with co-stars to make sure both of you are comfortable, especially when shooting more intimate scenes.