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Michael Fassbender Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (28) | Personal Quotes (35)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 April 1977Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Nickname Fassy
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. His parents ran a restaurant (his father is a chef).

Fassbender is based in London, England, and is known for his roles in the films Inglourious Basterds (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011), Shame (2011) and 12 Years a Slave (2013).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Catherine Forde

Trade Mark (2)

Deep, calm voice combined with emotionally intense performances
Often works with Steve McQueen

Trivia (28)

Born in Germany, of German and Irish parents and raised in Ireland.
Lives in London, UK
He went on a diet of berries, nuts and sardines for his role in Hunger (2008) for which he lost 33 pounds.
First language is English and second German.
Has formed his own production company known as 'Peanut Productions'.
In 2003, he appeared in the music video "Blind Pilots" by British rock band, 'The Cooper Temple Clause'.
The actor's second name - Fassbender (a variant of Fassbinder) - is the German for "cooper," a binder or repairer of casks and barrels.
Has an older sister named Catherine, who is a neuropsychologist.
Was the runner-up choice for the role of "Doug Quaid" in Total Recall (2012), but Colin Farrell was cast, instead.
Good friends with Steve McQueen.
In 2012 he was listed in Time Out's "100 Most Influential People of 2012" and is a member of the Hospital Club.
Shifting between British films and American films, he resides in London, UK where he has lived for the last 15 years, while making career-related visits to Los Angeles, California.
He speaks German, though he has stated that he needed to brush up a bit on his spoken German before filming Inglourious Basterds, as it was a bit rusty. He has also expressed interest in performing in a German-language film or theater production one day.
Is a Formula 1 fan and has attended several races. On Top Gear (2002), he stated that he was a Michael Schumacher fan and he met him at the British Grand Prix. And on the red carpet of the BAFTAs in 2012, he said that he is a fan of Ayrton Senna, who was his introduction to Formula 1.
Ranked #8 on Empire Online list of the "100 Sexiest Movie Stars" in 2013.
Has played ancient world warriors twice with Dominic West: 300 (2006) and Centurion (2010).
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 12 Years a Slave (2013), directed by Steve McQueen, making it their third collaboration together, after Hunger (2008), and Shame (2011).
Is close friends with X-Men co-star James McAvoy.
Discovered he wanted to be an actor at seventeen when he participated in a school play.
Despite achieving worldwide fame and success, he still lives in the same modest flat in the Hackney area of London that he had when he was a struggling actor.
Attended the Drama Centre London but dropped out. One of his classmates at the time was Tom Hardy. Hardy stated that Fassbender was the best actor in the school. Both appeared in Band of Brothers (2001).
He has two roles in common with Ian McKellen: (1) McKellen played Macbeth in A Performance of Macbeth (1979) while Fassbender played him in Macbeth (2015) and (2) McKellen played Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto in X-Men (2000), X-Men 2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), The Wolverine (2013) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) while Fassbender played him in X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men (2017).
To play the younger version of Ian McKellen's Magneto in X-Men: First Class (2011), he started studying McKellen's films because the two actors had never met before, they only had their first meeting at the 2013 Comic-Con.
Somewhat at odds with his role as Steve Jobs, Michael himself admits to still preferring his years-old iPhone 4 with a cracked screen over upgrading to a newer model.
Introduced alongside his Macbeth (2015) co-star, Marion Cotillard, a Banksy painting donated by Leonardo DiCaprio for the amfAR Gala charity auction in Cannes, where it fetched $1 million. [May 21, 2015].
During the press conference of Macbeth (2015) at the Cannes Film Festival, he stated that his co-star Marion Cotillard, is the best actress in the business. [May 23, 2015].
Is a MotoGP fan.

Personal Quotes (35)

You know, I spent a lot of time out of work. Now I'm trying to make hay while the sun is shining.
[on creating his character David in Prometheus (2012) with Ridley Scott] We took inspiration from David Bowie and some of his looks as well. I liked the idea of having a feminine quality to him for sure.
[on his preparation for Hunger (2008)] I felt really focused, really centred, really strong. Hungry all the time, obviously.
We live in this society where nowadays if I want something, I take it, I eat it - it's so easy and readily available. When you take all that away, you actually become more appreciative of the things around you. I don't want to do it again, but there is a level where it humbles you in a good way.
I lost about 14 kilos and weighed 59 kilos by the end. It was the only way we could do it and make it convincing (on portraying hunger-striker Bobby Sands in Hunger (2008)).
In drama school, they don't think of movies as a pure form like theater, and it's films that I love most. There's an intimacy in movies - I wanted to have the same impact on others that movies had on me. -- on why he dropped out of the Drama Center.
[on picking roles] I'm just following my gut instinct.
[on Quentin Tarantino] You know the man eats, breathes, lives film. You could bring up the most obscure movie, like some fuckin' Swedish film from 1963 or whatever and he'll know it. It's quite staggering, actually, he is an encyclopedia of knowledge.
For me, Daniel Day-Lewis is in a league of his own. I think that he's amazing. And he's always been a benchmark of excellence.
[2011, on what attracted him to Jane Eyre (2011)] It's a classic, and the reason people keep doing it is because there are so many things that seem to still resonate with audiences today. They like to disappear in that world. I did it because my mother and my sister are really big fans of the book, and I wanted to see what they would think of the "Rochester" that I would bring to the table. That's the first reason I wanted to do it. And then when Cary Fukunaga, [director] came on board, I was really excited, because Sin Nombre (2009) was such a good film, such a beautiful story, and so beautifully told. I was like, "This is going to be interesting, an American director coming over and doing his take on this, the classic British piece". I like that the characters are ugly and they're beautiful and they're cruel and they're nurturing. There's so much complexity to the characters, they're so well-written, and I find that interesting. There's ambiguity within the characters, and that's what really attracted me to it, to the performance.
[on his own unguarded nudity in Shame (2011)] It was important to go all out, not take shortcuts there, and to be sort of naked in every respect. Otherwise, I don't think the film would have worked.
[on if he felt 'disgusting' playing the role of Connor in Fish Tank (2009)] It washes away. I think it's important to go to places that are uncomfortable. For the benefit of others, maybe. You're facing all these ugly things, and knowing well this is an ugly thing and it's there somewhere in all of us. And so you're representing the ugliness. Connor does cross the line in Fish Tank, but on the flip-side he is the catalyst for [the heroine] to become her own person. He is the only one who inspires her with confidence to follow her dreams. And that she's not destined for shit. And so it's again playing with that ambiguity.
The problem is, we feel a lot of pressure about looking silly or appearing weak, whatever that means, or being a failure. You have to keep in your head: what's the worst that can happen? I'm trying to tell a story - what's the worst that can happen? You fall flat on your face, then hopefully you get back up again and go for it again and try something else. We're all going to die one day. I'm stealing that off Steve [McQueen]; it's what he'd say when he ordered me to take my clothes off. 'WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE ONE DAY!'
[on being nude in films and full frontal nudity] To be honest with you again, I think it's the idea of male frontal nudity. It just baffles me: Women can parade around naked all the time, but the guy conveniently has his pants on. I remember my mom always complaining about that to me, saying, "This is such bullshit, it's always the women who are naked" ... so I did this one for you, Mom!
[on if he had any problem beating on Gina Carano in Haywire (2011)] It didn't really faze me. This isn't Michael Fassbender doing this, it's the character. I'm here to serve the story and the character. And in real life, Gina would beat the shit out of me in any circumstance. I mean, have you seen her on YouTube?
I suppose the German side wants to keep everything in control, and the Irish side wants to wreak havoc.
I have a theory that everyone's crazy anyway. And those who think they aren't, are the ones who are even crazier - because they're in denial.
...but you keep a realism, put AC/DC on, get over it, keep positive.
I think you're either a good director or you're not, and it doesn't really matter if it's female or male. I mean, Andrea Arnold is very good at creating a safe environment to work in, and she loves working with actors and she's very clear. And all of those directors are like that - Steve McQueen, Quentin Tarantino. They love their work, and they're good at it, so it makes my job so much easier, and then they bring a lot more out of me because of that.
[on "David", his role in Prometheus (2012)] I am playing a robot. It'll be a good excuse, the critics can't say, 'Oh, he was very wooden in that'. I can say, 'I was supposed to be'. I wanted to avoid attitude, make him appear like he's kind of neutral most of the time. But you also have to hint at a few human characteristics, as if he might have something like a soul.
At one point you think, Well, it's funny, I could just be a starving actor... So if somebody were to pull the plug right now, there'd be no room for complaint.
I really wanted to be a guitarist - I wanted to be a lead guitarist. But I wasn't good enough. And it's always hard to find a drummer, especially in small towns. Or a bass player. So it was just me and this other guy Mike - the two Mikes - and we tried to put on a gig one time in this pub at lunchtime, playing Metallica. It didn't go off too well. They kept turning the volume down, so it was like Unplugged, but with electric guitars. That was the one and only gig I ever played.
I like characters that are flawed because we all are. People are complicated. Our behavior towards one another is strange. So I like opportunities to investigate that.
[on the red carpet of the BAFTAs in 2012 about what films he enjoyed] You know, I haven't seen a great deal of films this year but I -- you know, I really enjoyed Senna (2010). I have -- I was always sort of been -- you know, I was always a fan of Ayrton Senna, and kind of was my introduction to Formula 1, and I'm a big fan of that. So I really enjoyed that.
[on how society validated the brutalizing slave system] I think that was part and parcel of the day. How many people are holding the Bible up with one hand and trying to launch a missile with the other? I almost think religion and pain go hand-in-hand sometimes, and that was sort of the way to just keep everyone in check, another way of keeping people suppressed and controlled.
[on undertaking Edwin Epps role in 12 Years a Slave (2013)] I just tried to find a human being there, as opposed to some evil plantation owner. This is complex, this sort of relationship. Obviously being a slave is the worst deal. You get whipped and beaten and suppressed every day, but the suppressor is also going to be affected by that. So how does that affect the person administering all this pain and suffering? He's a human being who's caught up in something so complicated and so unjust. I always thought of Epps as a boil on the skin of society, representing how damaged the whole society was.
[on working with Marion Cotillard in Macbeth (2015)] She's got so much courage just to take on the part in the first place. She's quite a quiet person, but onscreen she's just electric. I didn't have to discuss any ideas that I wanted to do, anything that came to mind during a take. I would just do it, and she always responded. She's just very easy to work with. Zero drama, except what's in the scene.
[on the effect of playing the role of 'Frank' with a paper bag on his head] When you put on a mask there's this sort of feeling like being bulletproof. I immediately felt a sense of mischief, playfulness and an anarchic sort of streak as well. Kind of like that trust exercise where you fall backwards and hopefully the people in the room catch you, otherwise you hit the ground. That's kind of what it was like every day.
[on improvising] It's hard. Sometimes it just becomes mush. It's very important that the team doing it are in sync and are listening to one another and they've got a direction. Otherwise it could turn into a shouting fest - it just becomes rudderless.
[on his reaction to watching himself in movies] I love it. I like to do it many times. (Laughs) No, it's not a particular fun thing to do. It's like hearing your answering message on the phone. Except you get the visual to go with it. So, yeah, I just think it's part of my job to sort of take a look and see what I've done wrong.
The great thing about doing independent films is that they move fast, and I like that. I like the speed, and having to be on your toes...The little films need the big films to do well because they are dependent on getting that money. Frank (2014) gets made because I do something like X-Men: First Class (2011) or Prometheus (2012).
[on being cast as 'Frank'] I just read the script and was like, "This is nuts. This is fucking nuts, and I want to be part of it." It's fun. I laughed out loud many times reading it, and it was poignant and touching. He is this sort of frail, geeky character... I definitely ramped up the physicality more than I would do in another film because the expression is essentially from the neck down.
Well physically, I am attracted to darker women, I'm not gonna lie. To me I personally find them beautiful, but of course there's more to a person than what meets the eye. Everyone has their own uniqueness.
[on impersonating Ian McKellen's accent in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)] In the last film, Matthew (Vaughn, its director) said 'I like your accent, it's kind of weird - not really Irish, but there's this strange sort of James Bond edge'. So I didn't have to do any work on it. But here the performances needed to parallel each other, so rather than going up to Sir Ian and saying 'You need to study my accent,' I thought I'd try to copy his... After all, it's his role. I'm just a visitor. There was this clip on YouTube where Sir Ian was giving a lecture on Shakespeare, I listened to that one over and over to try and get it. So when you see this 'X-Men,' well, I sound a bit different. Perhaps the whole time Magneto's been locked up he's been taking elocution lessons.
[on Marion Cotillard - Cannes Film Festival, 2015] I think Marion is the best in the business. She brings a grace to everything that she does, which is just in her I think. But at the same time she is very human and I think when she portrays a character the audience has something of a mirror in front of them and see much of themselves in her. Just to be standing opposite her and to see just the most engaged partner and somebody who is listening seems like such a simple thing, but the best actors are great listeners. She listens so brilliantly and responds to whatever is happening in the moment and is very generous in return. She'll take something, use it, form it and give it back to you. So it's very easy. We worked comprehensively in rehearsal, but once we started filming we didn't discuss things and just presented them when the camera was rolling. I really enjoy that way of working.

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