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Michael Fassbender on slavery: ‘Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes’

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Michael Fassbender on slavery: ‘Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes’ Empty Michael Fassbender on slavery: ‘Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes’

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:46 am

Michael Fassbender on slavery: ‘Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes’

I really never think about TIFF being one of those film festivals where the prizes matter at all. It’s not like Cannes, where the winner of the Palme d’Or is big news, or even Sundance, where the winners will go on to use their awards and critical buzz throughout the rest of the promotion. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that 12 Years a Slave took home the big prize at TIFF – they won the Blackberry People’s Choice. Which means that out of all of the buzzed-about films at TIFF this year, 12 Years is the big winner and has now been declared “the one to beat” for the awards season.

All of that means MORE FASSBENDER. Yay! And more Lupita Nyong’o. And probably more Brad Pitt too. But I’m especially looking forward to more Fassy, of course. He has a new interview with Digital Journal, which you can read here. Some highlights:

His character isn’t a two-dimensional villain: “It’s important to look at him as a person. I had to find that human being in there and not just play him as the evil slave owner.” He says, “A lot of people are likely to say ‘oh my God Epps is so evil’ and I don’t understand that. He’s a human being who’s caught up in something so complicated and so unjust, but definitely not evil – I don’t even understand that word.”

His slave-owner quotes the Bible: “Epps is not the sharpest tool in the box. He doesn’t understand the Bible, I think it’s just his way of keeping everyone suppressed and controlled.” He shrugs and continues, “Besides, how many people are holding the Bible in one hand and trying to launch missiles with the other? Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes.”

Research: “First of all I had to try and find a voice so I worked with tapes and a dialect coach and tried on various accents.” He reveals. “I also went to Louisiana for about 6 weeks before we started filming to try and soak up the atmosphere there and then it’s just about working with the script. I read the book of course, but then just spent time with the script.”

Wanting a re-do: “The worst feeling for an actor,” he continues, “is to finish a day’s work and get halfway home and think, ‘Sh-t! That’s the way I should have done that!’ and that does happen anyway, but to minimize that feeling, you really put everything into it so that it’s all left on the floor. It’s all there, you left it behind and then you can go home and relax. You exorcise the demons on set that day.”

The cast was close: “I don’t think (the film) would have been possible without the real sense of love and connection on set. We were all linked to one another and without one another we wouldn’t have gone to the places that we did. It was total dependence really.”

[From Digital Journal]

I’ve heard some of you (traitors!) complain about Fassbender’s accent work in previous films, but after seeing the assorted trailers from 12 Years, I’m not worried about it. I think he worked hard at doing some kind of Southern accent and I will find it acceptable. What worries me is his accent work in The Counselor – from the trailers I’ve seen, his accent in that movie seems super-wonky.

Here are some photos from the 12 Years press conference at the Conrad Hotel in NYC. I don’t know why these photos are so budget. It’s disappointing.

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