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X-Men Magneto star Michael Fassbender on his 'crazy' rise to fame and the fuss over his nudity in Shame

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 X-Men Magneto star Michael Fassbender on his 'crazy' rise to fame and the fuss over his nudity in Shame Empty X-Men Magneto star Michael Fassbender on his 'crazy' rise to fame and the fuss over his nudity in Shame

Post by Admin on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:16 pm

X-Men Magneto star Michael Fassbender on his 'crazy' rise to fame and the fuss over his nudity in Shame
By David Bentley on Feb 26, 12 08:35 PM

Michael Fassbender portrait New York 2.jpgALTHOUGH surprisingly omitted from the nominations for tonight's Oscars, Michael Fassbender says he is determined to enjoy every moment of his success and has described his rise to fame as "crazy."

Over the past couple of years, the Irish-German actor has showed a fondness for dynamic but complicated characters from Lt Archie Hicox in Inglourious Basterds, to Magneto in X-Men: First Class and Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre.

And 2012 is proving no different. Following Steve McQueen's sex addiction drama Shame, Fassbender appeared in Steven Soderbergh's espionage thriller Haywire, and then David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, in which he plays Carl Jung opposite Viggo Mortensen's Sigmund Freud.

Beyond that, he'll star in Ridley Scott's Alien-inspired Prometheus before reuniting with McQueen for a third time on Twelve Years A Slave, alongside Brad Pitt.

After years of toiling, Fassbender says he feels he's finally having a 'moment' and is determined to enjoy it, while ensuring it's not fleeting.

"I don't want to spend too much time thinking about the things I've done, or linger in the past. I can find that depressing," he said in a recent interview. "The main thing is thinking about what I can do next and making sure I do a good job," he says.

"This whole experience is crazy. When I decided this was what I wanted to do, this was the situation I dreamed about being in. It's nuts."

He's certainly putting his heart into it. A staunch supporter of method acting, Michael Fassbender dropped to just nine stone to play Bobby Sands in the 2008 biopic of the IRA terrorist's hunger strike.

The film, Hunger, was feted at festivals across the world and placed Fassbender firmly on the map. But while he endured physical extremes for that movie, the 34-year-old reveals that Shame was mentally distressing.

"I had to lose weight for Hunger, but I had a timetable to stick to. So it was like 'OK, I have to eat 600 calories today' and you just get through it," says the actor in an Irish lilt. "But Shame was pretty disturbing; the idea of what my character is about, the relationships, intimacy and how that's a difficult thing for some people."

Michael Fassbender with Best Actor award at Venice Film Festival.jpgFassbender plays Brandon, a New York office worker with an uncontrollable libido whose life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan).

"The idea of sexual addiction is a grey area. All of us were probably introduced to it through celebrity stories, so there's a certain public perception that it's a self-indulgence within that world," muses the star.

Shame reunited Fassbender with Steve McQueen, the Turner Prize-winning artist-turned-director who gave him his breakthrough in Hunger, and the screenwriter Abi Morgan, who's currently riding high with The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.

"What I got from the film was this great humanity. It's tough to be human. We're all fragile in our own way and each of the characters needs somebody to help them. I thought that was quite moving."

Bleak and melancholic, the film is dominated by long scenes with limited speech punctuated by Mulligan's heartbreaking rendition of New York, New York - but Fassbender insists there's also a sense of optimism.

"I think so, because Brandon's trying to deal with his addiction - and that's enough hope for me," he says.

While Fassbender's striking performance has garnered critical acclaim, there's also a whole lot of hoopla surrounding the explicit sex scenes and uncompromising nudity.

Fassbender's bewildered by all the fuss. "People are going, 'Oh my God, you're naked! What's that going to do for your career?' I'm not a politician. My job is to facilitate characters. I'm a storyteller and that's it, end of story."

That's not to say he didn't feel embarrassed on set, however. "Of course," he laughs. "I don't feel comfortable parading around naked in what is essentially, at the beginning, a room full of strangers, but it had to be done. It was an essential part of getting inside the psyche.

"Besides, my imagination was much more devious than what was in the script," he adds with a wicked grin.

In preparation for the role, Fassbender got in touch with a sex addict. "I asked them to tell me stories so I could get an idea where certain motivations were born and how somebody suffering from this condition deals with it," he explains.

Magneto X-Men First Class still cropped.jpgAnd then he just worked with the script, which he's previously been known to re-read up to 300 times.

"It means I'm spending a lot of time with the character and getting to know him. So throughout the day I'll think, 'What would Brandon do in this scenario?'

"It's about trying to understand and relate to him, as opposed to judging. That would be a mistake."

Fassbender previously spoke on how he grasped the equally complicated Magneto for X-Men: First Class. He said he understood the master of magnetism's conflicted relationship with Professor Xavier, forged by ideological differences, and that they are not clear-cut, bitter enemies.

Among the actor's future projects is a sequel to First Class, with Matthew Vaughn back as director, Bryan Singer once again producing, and Simon Kinberg starting work on the script. Kinberg is also a producer, along with Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner.

It's in the very early stages of planning and there are no details yet on the plot, but Kinberg said it would continue to include the story of Fassbender's Magneto.

Kinberg told MTV: "I'm a huge X-Men fan. I grew up loving the comic books and it was really exciting to be able to do the origin story of Xavier and Magneto, and getting those two actors, [James] McAvoy and [Michael] Fassbender, were really amazing.

"So being able to explore those characters with actors of that quality will be exciting a second time around, and doing some things unexpected with those characters, which is the plan."

He added: "Magneto becomes the villain ultimately of the franchise but he's a much more complicated character as a young man. He's someone you sympathise with, you care about, you root for. Even though might not necessarily agree with his methods, you understand his philosophy.

"Because Michael is such an interesting actor, he'll never be full-on anything. He'll have a villainous side and he'll have a sympathetic human side you'll be able to relate but you'll also be afraid of him."

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