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Why Michael Fassbender is the talk of Venice

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Why Michael Fassbender is the talk of Venice Empty Why Michael Fassbender is the talk of Venice

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:13 am,people,entertainment,why-michael-fassbender-is-the-talk-of-venice

Michael Fassbender
From Magneto to Carl Jung to Mr Rochester, is there nothing this Irish actor can’t do?
By Venetia Rainey

If there's one name we're going to be hearing a lot over the next few months, it's that of Michael Fassbender. Playing characters as diverse as Carl Jung and Mr Rochester, the German-born Irish actor is the undisputed man of the moment.

Born to an Irish mother and a German father in Heidelberg, West Germany, Fassbender grew up in Ireland's Country Kerry working in his parents' restaurant and doing stints as an altar boy. Despite occasional roles in TV programmes such as Hex and Murphy's Law, he was largely unknown until he starred as Stelios in the 2006 Spartan war movie 300.

This led to his first major movie role in Hunger as IRA volunteer Bobby Sands, the man who led the 1981 republican hunger strike from which he would eventually die. The film - British director Steve McQueen's debut - won 30 awards, including the Camera d'Or at Cannes, making Fassbender (above with McQueen) hot property.

Clearly something clicked, and the 34-year-old is now starring in McQueen's second film, Shame. "I think we can trust each other," McQueen told Variety. "It's a bit like falling in love - when you have it you recognise it and that's it. I think he's the best actor out there."

After a sterling performance as Nazi-victim Magneto in X-Men: First Class earlier this year, Fassbender is returning to our screens this autumn in a triple whammy of movies, two of which are competing in the Venice Film Festival.

As well as McQueen's Shame, in which Fassbender plays a sociopathic sex-addict, he plays the Swiss psycho-analyst Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method opposite Keira Knightley as a Russian beauty with whom he enjoys a sado-erotic love affair. Due out in cinemas this week, meanwhile, is Jane Eyre, in which the Irish actor plays romantic hero Mr Rochester, who seeks to escape his ignominious past with a new love (Mia Wasikowska).

As Todd McCarthy observes in the Hollywood Reporter: "It's amazing that it has taken [Fassbender] this long to be fully recognised, as he's got it all: looks, authority, physicality, command of the screen, great vocal articulation, a certain chameleon quality and the ability to suggest a great deal within while maintaining outward composure, just for starters."

Next year will see him star in another three big films: Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller Prometheus, Steven Soderbergh's Haywire, and a film adaptation of the novel At Swim-Two-Birds.

But despite the increasing hype, Fassbender remains modest. "I don't think I'm particularly interesting," he told the New York Times. "I feel like a bit of a jerk sometimes, talking about myself."

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