"What I find really interesting is to try and mix it up, to push myself and try different things. I don't want to stay in my comfort zone.
I want to take risks and keep myself scared."
— Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender is Cultured Badass
: the man. He is an Irish actor with a background in theater who starred in the 2008 film Hunger
about the 1981 Irish hunger strike
. While the film had a fairly limited release, Fassbender's intense performance got a lot of praise.
He had a handful of other notable roles over the next two years, but things really took off in 2011. That year he played more coveted (and well-received) roles than many actors have in their entire career including Magneto
, Carl Jung
, and Mr. Rochester
. He is known for his broodingly intense persona and dark charisma. While having a quick career turn is not uncommon for actors, few have been in so many high-profile roles so successfully. His career seems to be continuing strongly with roles in big films like Ridley Scott
. In 2013 he returned to work with Steve McQueen, the director of Hunger
and played slaveowner Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave
, a role he has garnered massive acclaim for, including nominations for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award.
This actor provides examples of:
- Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Fassbender has dated a string of black and/or racially mixed girlfriends, and has stated in interviews that he prefers darker women. A small but loud segment of his white female fanbase has reacted... poorly, to say the least.
- Doing It for the Art: For his role in Hunger Fassbender dropped about thirty pounds and obsessively rehearsed the lengthy scenes. In general, Fassbender is known for his desire to fully embody his characters.
- Even the Guys Want Him: At the MTV Awards 2012:
The last time I did an MTV awards show, I did
end up marrying someone that was there. So tonight, I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for my next wife...FASSBENDER!
- On the set of Jane Eyre his stallion would get an erection every time he got on it. In Cary Fukunaga's, the director's words: "Obviously Michael's sexual prowess extends to the animal kingdom as well."
- Fan Nickname: Fassy (Fassbender has acknowledged this and does not mind it that people call him that).
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In X-Men: First Class his character is a German Jew (which is very important to the plot), but his accent is pretty uniformly still Irish. Interestingly, his performance was considered so good, that this aspect is often noted, but rarely criticized. Justified in that he uses the same accent as used by Ian McKellen (who played the older version of his character in previous movies).
- Averted during his German speaking part in the film; Fassbender speaks German fluently, due to being half-German, and the contrast to Kevin Bacon's poorly accented German is very noticeable to German speakers.
- Production Posse: With Steve McQueen. Fassbender starred in all three films McQueen has directed (Hunger, Shame and 12 Years a Slave).
- Promoted Fanboy: When he was in high school, he put together a school play of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, a fact that came up when Fassbender was reading for a role in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
- Red-Headed Hero
- Romance on the Set: Dated actress Zoe Kravitz (Angel) while they were filming X-Men.
- And dated his Shame costar Nicole Beharie.
- Star-Making Role: Hunger and 300 brought him to worldwide attention but it was X-Men that really solidified his star status.
- Verbal Tic: Has the tendency to say "sort of" and "you know" a lot in interviews. Watch an interview with him in it, and play a drinking game; you will be smashed by the end.