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Michael Fassbender eyes Hollywood gold

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Michael Fassbender eyes Hollywood gold Empty Michael Fassbender eyes Hollywood gold

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:21 pm

Michael Fassbender eyes Hollywood gold

By Michael Thurston (AFP) – 8 hours ago

LOS ANGELES — Michael Fassbender's last movie might be called "Shame," but the German-Irish actor has nothing to feel bad about as he rides a wave of success and aims at Hollywood gold this awards season.

The 34-year-old's big-screen career has exploded with a string of movies in the last four years, before his Golden Globe nod last week for his role as a tortured sex addict in "Shame," his latest film with director Steve McQueen.

His meteoric rise has included an award-winning role as Northern Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in 2008's "Hunger," as well as turns in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" and the latest "X Men" blockbuster this year.

Fassbender's latest movie sees him play another typically intense role as Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method."

"I spent a lot of time out of work. Now I'm trying to make hay while the sun is shining," the chiseled actor, who lives in London, said of his success of recent years.

Born on April 2, 1977 to a German father and a Northern Irish mother in Heidelberg, Germany, Fassbender moved with his family moved to Killarney, County Kerry, in southwest Ireland, when he was two years old.

After dropping out of London's Drama Centre, his career began on the small screen when he was 24, including an early credit in 2001 in the World War II series "Band of Brothers," executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

Other television roles included stints in the series "Murphy's Law" in 2005, playing 17th century Catholic activist Guy Fawkes in a TV movie and even starring in a music video before switching to the big screen for "300" in 2006 and "Angel" the following year.

But his big break arguably came three years ago with "Hunger," directed by McQueen, a role for which he lost 31 pounds to play Bobby Sands in an Irish Republican Army hunger strike in Northern Ireland's Maze prison.

The role won him British Independent Film best actor and caught the eye of Tarantino, who cast him as British officer Lieutenant Archie Hicox helping Brad Pitt's Nazi-killers in "Basterds" -- a role that let him put his fluent German to use.

The Tarantino film also won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award for best movie cast, just one of a growing mantelpiece worth of gongs he has picked up -- 19 wins and 10 nominations in all so far, including for 2009's "Fish Tank."

This year has seen critical success with "Jane Eyre" and "Shame," co-starring Carey Mulligan, in which he plays handsome but desperate 30-something New Yorker Brandon Sullivan grappling with sex addiction.

The movie won best film and best actor for Fassbender at the Venice Film Festival in September, and secured a Golden Globe best actor nod this week, pitting him against George Clooney, Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Although the film was left out of of the SAG nominations, the movie could legitimately hope to be shortlisted when the Oscars nominees are announced on January 24.

Having a neuropsychologist -- older sister Catherine -- in the family surely helped Fassbender in his role as Jung in "A Dangerous Method," about the significant influence Jung and Sigmund Freud had on each other and how their friendship gave birth to psychoanalysis.

Confirming his reputation as a top-tier actor who is also bankable, Fassbender will also soon star in Steven Soderbergh's action thriller "Haywire," as well as Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," currently in post-production.

Next year will also see his third team-up with McQueen in "Twelve Years a Slave."

Whether or not he is destined for Hollywood awards success in the next couple of months, Fassbender says he will always remain inspired by one fellow Irish actor.

"For me, Daniel Day-Lewis is in a league of his own," he said of the British-Irish star who won best actor Oscar in 1990 for "My Left Foot.

"I think he's amazing... he's always been a benchmark of excellence."

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

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