Michael Fassbender is a bit of an enigma; intelligent, wise-spoken, reserved, and meticulous–a man whose words are carefully treaded over like jagged rocks, each one specific and chosen.
“I much prefer to find ambiguity in that grey area. The audiences tend to get spoon-fed, especially with big commercial films.”
Fassbender, whose breakout role was 2009’s Inglorious Basterds, asks of the audience the same that he asks of himself. The methodical actor, much like his counterpart Magneto in this summer’s X-Men: First Class, is a cerebral artifact.
“It’s more interesting for me when the audience has to ask themselves questions and they have to find their own moral compass.”
Thus is the enigma, a thing wrapped in gray and blanketed in mystique (no pun intended). Who is this Fassbender? Where did he come from? And why is he so cool? It’s a New German cool, a grittier 70’s French cool cultivated by Tarantino’s film, infused with Fassbender’s Irish sardonicism, and one that he exudes readily and organically. So how cool is he? Speculation runs amok that he might be the next Bond when Daniel Craig’s current run ends.
“I don’t really like to plan anything because it never really seems to work…lets just get this film out…I’m flattered that people have made that link but Daniel is doing a great job.”
When speaking to the Irish-German actor, one gets the sense that he understands the human condition better than most, a hallmark of great performers. With the Magneto character, he brings an enlightened yet quietly fierce quality to the master of magnetics; his character survives the holocaust as a young boy only to wreak revenge on his Nazi captors as an adult. It is an amazing role and performance, one that quite frankly steals the show and captures the kind of emotional wavelength needed to propel a big, summer action vehicle like X-Men: First Class.
“Erik (Magneto) is a Machiavellian character, the end justifies the means. That really sums him up the best in one line. Everything he says comes to fruition.”
Michael Fassbender’s agenda has been tight as of late. In the pipeline are films with a venerable who’s who: Jim Jarmusch, Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, and supposedly another go-around with Tarantino when he begins shooting his spaghetti-western epic Django Unchained. With such a demanding schedule, its no wonder Fassbender hasn’t had any issues when speaking of the problems that plagued the First Class shoot.
“It was tough… we were under pressure… there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare things and I was impressed with the younger cast that were coming into something that is so high profile.”
Using a sly smile that lets on an Irish charm reserved by German stoicism Fassbender shoots off one last veritable dagger, a parting sliver of intuition.
“History teaches us that we’re an incredibly destructive race. The concept is a very mature idea, the themes involved are universal. Alienation is a universal thing whether it be religious, ethnic, (or) sexual orientation…I think everyone experiences it.”