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Star takes Shame's dark journey to fame

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Star takes Shame's dark journey to fame Empty Star takes Shame's dark journey to fame

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:06 am

Star takes Shame's dark journey to fame
HELEN BARLOW, The West Australian February 15, 2012, 10:27 am

Despite his lack of prizes in the current awards season, few actors are sitting prettier in every sense of the word than Michael Fassbender.

Having made six highly respected films in 20 months and with Ridley Scott's Prometheus in the can, the 34-year old is being hailed as a rare talent.

The Hollywood Reporter recalls one studio chief saying: "In our world, the real deal doesn't come along very often."

There's no doubting Fassbender can do it all. For the moment though the actor's nudity-drenched portrayal of a sex addict in Shame is all we can hear about.

George Clooney may even be a tad jealous given the comments he made at this year's Golden Globes: "Really, Michael, honestly, you can play golf like this with your hands behind your back. Go for it, man, do it!"

Even so, Fassbender's follow-up film with his Hunger director, Steve McQueen, is hardly sexy.

In fact, Shame is a dark exploration of the human psyche. His Brandon character may be charming and hold down a good job in corporate Manhattan, but his mind is consumed by women as prey, while on his computer he has all manner of pornography.

"Brandon's lifestyle means that he goes out and sleeps with many people," Fassbender explains. "He's quite successful at it but he's not really getting anything out of it. It's a joyless act and he realises that he's ill. He's definitely trying to fight it."

When Fassbender started the project he knew what he was in for.

"I said to Steve 'Look, do whatever you have to do'. I trust him implicitly and I didn't want my insecurity to come into it. You just have to give yourself up and say 'OK, let's do this and get on with it'. I know that any subject matter that he deals with is going to be handled in the right way."

Still it might seem a bit much for a former altar boy, who was raised a Catholic by his German-born father and Northern Irish mother. What did they think of it?

"Well, they are pretty cool. My dad was there at the Venice premiere. It was the first time I saw the film as well, which could have been a mistake," he chuckles.

"My mother was going to come, funnily enough, but she couldn't make it in the end. That might have been a good thing. I told my dad there was going to be some pretty extreme stuff and to prepare himself. But he said 'Look, you are an artist and you have got to do your thing'.

"I enjoyed being honest with myself making the film and exploring those things that society has deemed to be shameful. I don't have the answers to a lot of the moral questions but it's important to pose them."

In David Cronenberg's upcoming A Dangerous Method, Fassbender plays Carl Jung alongside Viggo Mortensen's Sigmund Freud. What would Jung have thought about Brandon?

"Maybe he would take a look at the sort of society that Brandon inhabits because Shame is very much a film of our time, about our access to excess

"The way Steve puts it, we are living in an age where we are all communicating through technology but are still somehow disconnected."
Shame is now screening. A Dangerous Mind open March 29.


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