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Michael Fassbender: I needed to go back to reality after Prometheus

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Michael Fassbender: I needed to go back to reality after Prometheus Empty Michael Fassbender: I needed to go back to reality after Prometheus

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:44 am

Michael Fassbender: I needed to go back to reality after Prometheus
Spanking, sex and space – Metro finds out the only way is up for Prometheus star Michael Fassbender.
Michael Fassbender Michael Fassbender as David in Prometheus

It may well be the best single piece of acting you'll see this year – and it isn't even in the film. Michael Fassbender's to-camera rendition of a humanoid in the viral promo for Ridley Scott's new film, Prometheus, is nothing short of sensational.

'What is it about robots that makes them so robotic?' he chimes eerily as a tear rolls down his cheek.

Most details of Sir Ridley's prequel-of-sorts to his landmark sci-fi movie, Alien, have been kept strictly under wraps, Fassbender's viral turn is a mouthwatering taste of what we're in for.

'It's going to be a whole new world within the Alien family,' Fassbender reveals when we meet at London's Dorchester Hotel. 'It's a totally different area that was overlooked by the characters in the original Alien films. They didn't realise what was at play in the greater scheme of things.'

Co-starring Noomi Rapace and Idris Elba, the story sees Fassbender's character, David, board the ship Prometheus on a space mission to find humanity's origins. The way Fassbender sees it, the film deals with earthly creation. 'That's a big theme: Man's ambition to get information from our creators and also challenge them.' Research ranged from studying Rutger Hauer's android in Scott's other sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, to thinking about Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis ('somebody who is very economic with his movement'). He also dyed his hair blonde, adding to his otherworldly feel. 'That was Ridley's idea,' he laughs. 'I thought I looked a bit scary.'

Blog: Prometheus: The Alien prequel which forgot to add the aliens
Michael Fassbender Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method

Still, it's a testament to Fassbender's magnetic screen presence that we're not sick of the sight of him by now. Whether it's getting the crap kicked out of him in Haywire, spanking Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method or baring his soul and more as a sex addict in Shame, the Irish-German actor has been on a roll of late.

Coming off the back of his charismatic turns as Magneto and Rochester in last year's X-Men: First Class and Jane Eyre, it's not hard to see why there's been so much fuss about the Fass.

The 35-year-old enjoyed a remarkable awards season last year, winning Best Actor for Shame at Venice, as well as garnering Bafta, Golden Globe and European Film Award nominations. 'I try not to take the awards too seriously,' he says. 'You try not to get wrapped up in the idea of winning something – like: "What does that statue really mean? Oh, I must've achieved something good here because I've got this statue." But after a while it does penetrate you. You start to think about it and go: "Well, I hope I win."'

Shockingly, Fassbender was overlooked at the Oscars for Shame. So did he dream of winning Academy Award acclaim? 'For sure. Absolutely. It is impossible not to. You start off at the beginning and you go: "It doesn't mean anything. It's a joke. Keep it light." But it starts to seep into you. So then, when I found out I wasn't nominated, of course I was upset. You're disappointed. But that's my ego and my vanity. So you go: "That's OK. You have to keep that under control anyway." And then you move on.'

Review: Prometheus is a sci-fi spectacular for the more discerning blockbuster fan
Michael Fassbender, Prometheus Prometheus is out now in cinemas

It's a candid admission but Fassbender, thankfully, is not one for spewing out Hollywood spin. He lives in London, having moved to the city after studying theatre in Cork. In 2001, he thought his money worries were over for good when he booked a role on the World War II television drama Band of Brothers. But in the aftermath, he didn't land another part for 12 months. 'That was a good lesson for me, because I was like: "OK, cool. The career is starting off here." And then nothing – for a year. That taught me not to spend all my money.'

This explains why he's been working like a demon these past few years, after dropping to a skeletal 58 kilos for his breakthrough as IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in 2008's Hunger. Is he not afraid of burn-out? He nods. 'After Prometheus, that was six films in 20 months and I thought: "OK, I need to take a break now and go back to reality, in the real world and draw from that."' He wound up taking a European summer tour with his restaurateur father and an old school friend – on motorbikes. 'I like the freedom of being on a bike,' he says.

You sense that Fassbender is a lone wolf, although he recently 'fessed up to dating Shame's Nicole Beharie (he swears blind 'nothing happened while we were filming'). Prepping to star with Brad Pitt in Twelve Years a Slave (his third film with Hunger/Shame director Steve McQueen), he's well aware just how difficult romances are in Hollywood. 'I always admire people that can work a marriage in a business like this, because it is such a gipsy lifestyle,' he says. Given how in-demand he is, he'd better bring Beharie along for the ride.

Prometheus opens today.

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