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"Studio Ciné Live" Interview of Michael Fassbender

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"Studio Ciné Live" Interview of Michael Fassbender Empty "Studio Ciné Live" Interview of Michael Fassbender

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:50 pm

"Studio Ciné Live" Interview of Michael Fassbender

Here is the interview translated. Enjoy! Smile (I know I did ^^) Once again, sorry for all the mistakes you may find, English is not my native language!

Michael Fassbender, jumping headlong

In Shame by Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender dives into the tragic story of a sexual predator. A magnetic, repellent and fascinating role that earned him the interpretation award at the Venice Festival.

Steve McQueen says that you are a part of his creative process. Do you remember the first time you met?

Very precisely. I was going to a casting director’s office, in London, for the Hunger audition. Steve was sitting on a chair. I came into the room. Something very powerful emanated from him straightaway. A strong request for empathy and a real kindness in the way he talks to other people. A spontaneous, direct approach that was genuine and concrete. I don’t think it took me twenty seconds to get that I had to work with him, at all costs. (laughs)

Did you think that it was the beginning of a long collaboration?

No. It was far more pragmatic than that. I first reacted as an actor. It was an incredibly intense role and I really wanted to get the part because I was seeking desperately a job at that time! Plus, I understood right away that I had a lot to learn from an artist like Steve McQueen. And, as soon as we started to work, I knew that I had found the person I was looking for for so long.

“Hunger” is not only a harsh movie, but your part was quite extreme…

And was carrying a very heavy responsibility. It was not to be taken lightly.

Did you hesitate?

Strangely, no. Fortunately, I’m not one for giving up along the way. Once I take a decision, I stick to it. And the faith I put in Steve, that I felt was mutual, really helped me to get over the physical and psychological difficulties inherent to the part. He’s not someone that would focus on the superfluous. He goes straight to the core of the matter. He detects quickly the propensity to go towards a certain security or to play with a mask on that some actors may have. With Steve, it’s unstable. You’re naked. Literally and figuratively. It’s exciting and formative.

To what extent?

With this kind of filmmaker, you finally understand that balance effect that is the limit to our job. Between what you give and what you spare. With him, I learnt to get rid of it, to reach that uncomfortable zone in which you don’t always want to find yourself in. That scares you but is necessary. Because it’s only there that you discover that you’re capable of doing things that seemed unreachable to you before.

Is it the same thing with “Shame”?

Even more. He started to tell me about it during the Hunger promotion. With very few words, in his way, sketching the idea of survival that emanated from the film, barely explaining to me the two, three guidelines and briefly what Brandon, my character, will have to go through. I must have given my consent right away. Two years later, I received the script written by Abi Morgan.

Even if they’re quite different, both characters in “Hunger” and “Shame” have a good deal of things in common. Their mutism, the body as a way of defence and resistance…

And both must escape. You’re right. The body is for them a paradox because through it and at the same time it’s through it that they express their autodestructing tendencies. Brandon doesn’t love himself. Her sister expresses her feelings. Awkwardly, violently, but she lives them. That’s why their confrontation can only be violent because it’s a reflection of himself that he refuses to see. His need to control everything just can’t coexist with any emotional expression.

It’s also through the body that you approached the character of Jung in the more talkative “A Dangerous Method”, by Cronenberg. Within the first seconds of the film, you reveal with the silhouette alone the sexual inhibitions of your character…

(Laughs.) I’m glad that you’re saying that because it was the initial stage of my work on Jung’s character. I had to find his posture, how he stands, lower the shoulder line, and update the instability of this man of science. Find how his body betrays him, contradicts his speech and who he tries to be.

Interview by Xavier Leherpeur.

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