Why Playing a Hacker on The Flight Attendant Made Deniz Akendiz Put Tape Over His Laptop's Camera

Deniz Akdeniz plays hacker and Internet sleuth Max on The Flight Attendant. In this exclusive chat with E! News, he explains how the role led him to take new precautions in his own life.

By Daniel Trainor May 12, 2022 3:00 PMTags
Watch: The Flight Attendant: Are Annie & Max Good For Each Other?

The Flight Attendant star Deniz Akendiz couldn't help but take his work home with him.

On the HBO Max mystery thriller, the actor plays Max, a hacker who uses his big-tech bravado to help Cassie (Kaley Cuoco), the best friend of his partner Annie (Zosia Mamet), get out of numerous sticky—and potentially felonious—situations. 

As Max's schemes become more detailed and intense in season two, Deniz decided to do some digging of his own.

"As I did my research into it, it just became more and more terrifying about what's possible," he told E! News. "There are simple safeguards to protect yourself. So, on my webcam I put a little sticker on there to block it out. Little things like that. You just become more mindful of it."

Initially, Deniz was skeptical that any of Max's tricks were realistic. Then he took some trips to the dark corners of the Internet.

"The things they would describe in the show, especially this season, I was like ‘people can't do that!'" he said. "And then I'd look it up and I was like ‘Oh, they really can and there's a manual here to be able to do it.'"

The Flight Attendant: Everything to Know About Season 2

On paper, Max's job is rather unsavory, but Deniz argues that he uses those skills with the right motivations.

"He operates in shades of grey. I think what he does is…well, it is illegal," he said. "But he does it for the right reasons. It's that Robin Hood aspect of him that I really enjoying playing. Yes, what he's doing is bad, but he's not doing it maliciously. The people he targets are wealthy individuals and when it comes to the murder and espionage of Cassie's day-to-day life, he uses those powers to help his friends and get her out of trouble."

We could all use a friend like Max. You know, for the next time we find ourselves in the middle of a globe-trotting murder mystery involving the CIA.

Jennifer Rose Clasen/HBO Max

While the world of hacking is scary business, it's no match for Max's up-and-down relationship with Annie. Despite the speed bumps, Deniz still believes in the couple.

"I personally think they compliment each other very well, when it works," he said. "Annie is going through a time where she's quite lost and unsure about what the future holds, whereas Max has been steadfast in what he does and what he wants and who he loves. But that gets tested. They stand in each other's way. Max needs to find his voice in the relationship and Annie needs to help getting over some of those fears."

As Max's online sorcery begins to put even more bad blood in the water surrounding he and Annie, let's just hope they have enough time to figure it out.

New episodes of The Flight Attendant premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.

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