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Michael Fassbender: Hollywood's New Brando Ascends to the A-list

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Michael Fassbender: Hollywood's New Brando Ascends to the A-list

Post by Admin on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:52 am

http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/michael-fassbender-hollywoods-new-brando-ascends-list-11-12-2011

11/12/2011
Jacklyn Rose Morrison
Why This German-Irish Actor Has A Juggernaut Talent Not Seen In Decades

Michael Fassbender seems to be everywhere. Hollywood's newest leading man has become a familiar face at the movies with recent roles in Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, and the upcoming films A Dangerous Method, Shame, Haywire, and Prometheus. Audiences may also remember Fassbender from his earlier appearances in Hunger, Angel, Inglorious Basterds, and the Indie hit Fish Tank. His next film project is with his former co-star Brad Pitt for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years As A Slave. This German-Irish actor is known for his chameleon-like ability to alter his looks and his formidable acting. Fassbender is so convincing in any role that viewers can easily confuse the actor’s real personality with his characters.

Michael Fassbender won Best Actor at the 2011 Venice Film Festival for his portrayal as the sex-addicted New York yuppie Brandon in Steve McQueen’s Shame. Despite its NC-17 rating the film promises to attract audiences based on its reception at the Toronto, New York, London, Berlin, and AFI film festivals. Since his win in Venice many fans are already saying that Fassbender deserves an Oscar nomination for the role.

With all the increased media attention many people are asking: who is Michael Fassbender?

According to Wikipedia, the London-based bilingual actor was born on April 2, 1977 in Heidelberg, Germany to an Irish mother and German father. At the age of two, Fassbender’s parents moved him and his older sister to Killarney, Ireland where they ran a restaurant called West End House. His Catholic upbringing in Ireland included a stint as an alter boy and attendance at St. Brendan’s Seminary school. He also worked at his parents’ restaurant as a teenager.

After graduating from St. Brendan’s, Fassbender moved to England to study acting at The Drama Centre London. One of the school’s most famous alumni is Sir Anthony Hopkins. A quick review of the school’s official websites reveals that its curriculum is geared towards method acting and the work of Stanislavski. During his time at drama school Fassbender appeared in an SAS airline commercial. Fellow classmate Tom Hardy told The Dailey Beast in a 2011 interview that Fassbender was the best actor in the school.

In 2001 Fassbender was cast in the Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg film Band of Brothers. His next roles were on various British TV shows such as "NCS Manhunt," "Hearts and Bones," and "Holby City" as well as the low-budget movies Carla and A Bear Named Winnie. Fassbender also appeared in a 2003 video for the British band Cooper Temple Clause for their song “Blind Pilots”. In the video Fassbender plays a man at a bachelor party who turns into a goat. Also in 2003, Fassbender made a radio appearance for BBC Northern Ireland as the Jonathan Harker character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Fassbender has been quoted as saying in several interviews that 2004 was the year he began earning a living full time as an actor. In 2004 he was cast in the British TV series "Hex." Fassbender played a fallen angel named Azazeal who seduces a teenage witch studying at a boarding school in the English countryside. Just prior to his breakthrough role in "Hex," Fassbender made a very popular commercial for Guinness. The ad showed a man swimming across the Atlantic from his home in Ireland to New York City just to say sorry to his brother in a bar.

"Hex" ended in 2005 after its second season but Fassbender was not out of work for long. He appeared on stage at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe as Irish political figure Michael Collins. The play was titled Allegiance and Fassbender’s bio on Wikipedia and IMDB state that Collins is the great-uncle of Fassbender’s mother. That same year Fassbender stared on the big screen with Gerard Butler in 300 which brought him to the attention of American audiences. Fassbender followed up 300 with Angel, Hunger, Inglorious Basterds, Jonah Hex, Fish Tank, Centurion, Jane Eyre, and X-Men: First Class. When he made his debut as the young Magneto in X-Men many fans began thinking he should be the next James Bond.

Fassbender has openly said to the media that Steve McQueen changed his life by casting him in Hunger as Bobby Sands. Sands was an Irish hunger striker and political prisoner who died in 1981. To play the role convincingly Fassbender lost half his body weight and the performance earned him an IFTA Award in Ireland and got Hollywood’s attention. However, McQueen’s impact on Fassbender’s career is not done yet. If Shame earns Fassbender an Oscar it could make him one of Hollywood’s most sought after men.

If 2011 was a good year for Michael Fassbender then 2012 looks even brighter with a role in a yet untitled Jim Jarmusch vampire film and At Swim-Two-Birds. There is also a possibility of an X-Men: First Class sequel. The world has yet to see the full range of Michael Fassbender’s acting gift but many are also calling him the new Marlon Brando. His time to shine is certainly now and with his classical good looks, Irish lilt, screen presence, and singing ability, Fassbender is destined to entertain for many years to come.

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