Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Current gig: Playing the evil Dr. Doom in the sci-fi adventure film Fantastic Four
He was Doom-ed to be Fantastic
How determined was McMahon to be a part of the big-screen version of the Marvel comic? As he told Entertainment Weekly, he “would’ve been a limo driver on this movie.” Luckily, he landed a slightly juicier role, playing Dr. Doom, the Fantastic Four’s nemesis.
Just don’t expect to see much of his famously chiseled features in the film: His character’s face is disfigured by a cosmic storm, so he wears an iron mask for most of the movie. But his appeal can’t be covered up: “I’ve never met anyone that has that much charisma and charm,” says costar Chris Evans. “The guy walks into a room and everybody knows it.”
He’s not a smooth operator
Dr. Doom isn’t the first ethically challenged M.D. McMahon has played: Since 2003, he’s starred as playboy plastic surgeon Christian Troy on the FX hit Nip/Tuck. “Women are very intimidated by me,” he says. “They believe I’m Dr. Troy and I’m going to come back with a response like, ‘You know, honey? You really need a nose job.’ ”
But the twice-divorced actor (he was married from 1994-97 to Australian singer-actress Dannii Minogue, Kylie’s sister, and from 1999-2002 to former Baywatch babe Brooke Burns, with whom he shares custody of daughter Madison, 5) is no lothario. “Julian is like a nerdy 12-year-old,” says Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy. “He’s always in his trailer playing video games. Julian’s not a ladies’ man at all.”
He’s always been a rebel
The son of the late Sir William McMahon, the prime minister of Australia from 1971-72, and socialite Lady Sonia, McMahon revolted against his life of privilege. “I was a very strong-willed, out-of-control kid,” he says. “I was like this friggin’ whirlwind. I’m sure I put my parents through hell.”
And his career choice wasn’t exactly the one his parents had envisioned for him: After a stint as an economics major at Australia’s University of Wollongong, the 6’2″ McMahon quit school at 20 to model. Soon, a sexy Levi’s ad led to a role as a medical student on the short-lived Australian soap The Power in 1989.
At 22, McMahon moved to the U.S., where he worked with a vocal coach to lose his accent and landed a two-year role on the soap Another World. Since then, he’s played a detective on the ’90s series Profiler and a demon on Charmed – where he met former girlfriend Shannen Doherty.
He loves being Dad
McMahon is a devoted father to Madison. “She’s just a very gregarious and fun little girl,” he says. “She loves to dance, she loves to play.” She’s also started to enjoy cooking: “Eggs are her favorite thing to make.” In that way, she takes after Dad – McMahon, who shares a three-bedroom L.A. home with his two German shepherd-black Lab mixes, is a self-described foodie. “I’m passionate about food,” he says. “I bought all these cookbooks and did a different country every month for a few months.”
He takes after his own father
“He’s very loud – a big joker,” says Nip/Tuck costar Joely Richardson. And McMahon credits his father, who died of cancer in 1988 at the age of 80, with his joie de vivre. “My dad was a really positive person,” he says. “He made me look at life as something you’ve got to cherish.”