Michael Fassbender Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (6)  | Trivia (48)  | Personal Quotes (40)

Overview (3)

Born in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
Nickname Fassy
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. His parents ran a restaurant (his father is a chef).

Fassbender is based in London, England, and became known in the U.S. after his role in the Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009). In 2011, Fassbender debuted as the Marvel antihero Magneto in the prequel X-Men: First Class (2011); he would go on to share the role with Ian McKellen in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Also in 2011, Fassbender's performance as a sex addict in Shame (2011) received critical acclaim. He won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards. In 2013, his role as slave owner Edwin Epps in slavery epic 12 Years a Slave (2013) was similarly praised, earning him his first Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor. 12 Years a Slave marked Fassbender's third collaboration with Steve McQueen, who also directed Hunger and Shame. In 2013, Fassbender appeared in another Ridley Scott film, The Counsellor (2013). In 2015, he portrayed Steve Jobs (2015) in the Danny Boyle-directed biopic of the same name, and played Macbeth (2015) in Justin Kurzel's adaptation of William Shakespeare's play. For the former, he has received Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actor. As well as acting, Fassbender produced the 2015 western Slow West (2015), which he also starred in.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Catherine Forde and Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

Alicia Vikander (14 October 2017 - present)

Trade Mark (6)

Deep, calm voice combined with emotionally intense performances
Often works with Steve McQueen
Intense, gritty performances
Wide, enthusiastic smile
Predatory characters (e.g. 12 Years a Slave, Fish Tank, Alien: Covenant)
Frequently plays villains or deeply-flawed anti-heros.

Trivia (48)

Born in Germany, to a German father and an Irish mother, and was raised in Ireland.
Currently resides in London, England in the same flat that he has owned since he was in his late 20s.
He went on a diet of berries, nuts and sardines for his role in Hunger (2008) for which he lost 33 pounds.
First language is English and second is German.
Has formed his own production company known as Peanut Productions.
He appeared in the music video "Blind Pilots" by the British rock band The Cooper Temple Clause (2003).
The actor's second name - Fassbender (a variant of Fassbinder) - is the German for "cooper", a binder or repairer of casks and barrels.
Has an older sister: Catherine Fassbender, who is a neuropsychologist.
Was the runner-up choice for the role of Doug Quaid in Total Recall (2012), but Colin Farrell was cast instead.
Good friends with Steve McQueen.
He was listed in Time Out's "100 Most Influential People of 2012" and is a member of the Hospital Club.
Shifting between British films and American films, he resides in London, England where he has lived for the last 15 years, while making career-related visits to Los Angeles, California.
He speaks German, though he has stated that he needed to brush up a little on his spoken German before filming Inglourious Basterds (2009), as it was a little rusty. He has also expressed interest in performing in a German-language film or theatre production one day.
Is a huge fan of MotoGP and Formula 1 and has attended several races. On Top Gear (2002), he stated that he was a huge fan of Michael Schumacher and he met him at the British Grand Prix. And on the red carpet of the BAFTAs in 2012, he said that he is a huge fan of Ayrton Senna, who was his introduction to Formula 1.
Ranked #8 on Empire Online list of the "100 Sexiest Movie Stars" in 2013.
Has played ancient world warriors twice with Dominic West: 300 (2006) and Centurion (2010).
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 12 Years a Slave (2013), directed by Steve McQueen, making it their third collaboration together, after Hunger (2008), and Shame (2011).
Is close friends with X-Men co-star James McAvoy.
Discovered he wanted to be an actor at seventeen when he participated in a school play.
Despite achieving worldwide fame and success, he still lives in the same modest flat in the Hackney area of London that he had when he was a struggling actor.
Attended the Chang-Ren Nian but dropped out. One of his classmates at the time was Tom Hardy. Hardy stated that Fassbender was the best actor in the school. Both appeared in Band of Brothers (2001).
Has two roles in common with Ian McKellen: (1) McKellen played Macbeth in A Performance of Macbeth (1979) while Fassbender played him in Macbeth (2015) and (2) McKellen played Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto in X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), The Wolverine (2013) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) while Fassbender played him in X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), The Gifted (2017), and Dark Phoenix (2019). They also each share the role of Macbeth with their respective Professor X's, James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart.
To play the younger version of Ian McKellen's Magneto in X-Men: First Class (2011), he started studying McKellen's films because the two actors had never met before, they only had their first meeting at the 2013 Comic-Con.
Somewhat at odds with his role as Steve Jobs, Michael himself admits to still preferring his years-old iPhone 4 with a cracked screen over upgrading to a newer model.
Introduced alongside his Macbeth (2015) co-star, Marion Cotillard, a Banksy painting donated by Leonardo DiCaprio for the amfAR Gala charity auction in Cannes, where it fetched $1 million [May 21, 2015].
During the press conference of Macbeth (2015) at the Cannes Film Festival, he stated that his co-star Marion Cotillard, is the best actress in the business [May 23, 2015].
Was set to play author Thomas Wolfe in Genius (2016), but dropped out and was replaced by Jude Law.
During the press conference of Macbeth (2015) at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, he stated that Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood (1957) is his favorite Macbeth adaptation.
Was cast for the role of the vampire Adam in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), but dropped out and was replaced by Tom Hiddleston.
In 2009, he and Paddy Considine almost co-starred in Rupert Wyatt's WWI film "Birdsong", an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel of the same name, but the project fell apart. They could finally work together in Macbeth (2015).
Was cast for the role of Franck in Danny Boyle's Trance (2013), but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Vincent Cassel replaced him. Years later, he worked with Boyle in Steve Jobs (2015).
Has starred in two films released in 2015 in which he played the title character: Macbeth (2015) and Steve Jobs (2015).
Has appeared in four movies with Sean Harris: Wedding Belles (2007), Prometheus (2012), Macbeth (2015) and Trespass Against Us (2016).
Has played a Holocaust survivor and victim of the Nazi's in X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), a British soldier undercover as a Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and a Nazi in Blood Creek (2009).
Michael is only the fifth actor to have received more than one Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor since the their inception in 1975. The other four actors are Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Robert Duvall and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Is in a relationship with Alicia Vikander. They met while filming The Light Between Oceans (2016) in 2014. Producer Harvey Weinstein introduced them as "the new talented couple" at a party during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Was in a relationship with actress, Nicole Beharie from 2012 until January 2013. They worked together on Shame (2011).
Has played two roles previously played by Orson Welles: Rochester in Jane Eyre (2011) and the title role in Macbeth (2015). Welles previously played the same roles in Jane Eyre (1943) and Macbeth (1948).
Filmed Assassin's Creed (2016), The Snowman (2017) and Alien: Covenant (2017) (in that specific order) one after each other, without breaks between films, between August 2015 and July 2016. He admitted that he needed a break after all these films.
Has a scar on his left ankle after James McAvoy crashed a golf cart the two were driving in and he sustained an injury on his left leg.
Has said that Joel Schumacher, who directed him in Blood Creek (2009), as one of his favorite directors.
He had a bit part in Woody Allen's film Cassandra's Dream (2007) but this was deleted.
Despite playing Tech genius and icon Steve Jobs, he had admitted that he is very technophobic in real life and avoids it when he can.
He became friends with Val Kilmer after working with him on Song to Song (2017) and The Snowman (2017). He was invited on to the set when Kilmer had a guest appearance on the show Life's Too Short.
His first film audition was for the role of Rafe Cawley in Pearl Harbor (2001). The role later went to Ben Affleck.
As a teenager, he took a drama class hosted by Donie Courtney. Afterward, he enrolled in theater and acting classes at the Drama Centre London.
He was considered for the role of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) before Adam Driver was cast.

Personal Quotes (40)

You know, I spent a lot of time out of work. Now I'm trying to make hay while the sun is shining.
[on creating his character David in Prometheus (2012) with Ridley Scott] We took inspiration from David Bowie and some of his looks as well. I liked the idea of having a feminine quality to him for sure.
[on his preparation for Hunger (2008)] I felt really focused, really centred, really strong. Hungry all the time, obviously.
We live in this society where nowadays if I want something, I take it, I eat it - it's so easy and readily available. When you take all that away, you actually become more appreciative of the things around you. I don't want to do it again, but there is a level where it humbles you in a good way.
[on portraying hunger-striker Bobby Sands in Hunger (2008)] I lost about 14 kilos and weighed 59 kilos by the end. It was the only way we could do it and make it convincing.
[on why he dropped out of the Drama Center] In drama school, they don't think of movies as a pure form like theater, and it's films that I love most. There's an intimacy in movies - I wanted to have the same impact on others that movies had on me.
[on picking roles] I'm just following my gut instinct.
[on Quentin Tarantino] You know the man eats, breathes, lives film. You could bring up the most obscure movie, like some fuckin' Swedish film from 1963 or whatever and he'll know it. It's quite staggering, actually, he is an encyclopedia of knowledge.
For me, Daniel Day-Lewis is in a league of his own. I think that he's amazing. And he's always been a benchmark of excellence.
[2011, on what attracted him to Jane Eyre (2011)] It's a classic, and the reason people keep doing it is because there are so many things that seem to still resonate with audiences today. They like to disappear in that world. I did it because my mother and my sister are really big fans of the book, and I wanted to see what they would think of the "Rochester" that I would bring to the table. That's the first reason I wanted to do it. And then when Cary Joji Fukunaga, [director] came on board, I was really excited, because Sin Nombre (2009) was such a good film, such a beautiful story, and so beautifully told. I was like, "This is going to be interesting, an American director coming over and doing his take on this, the classic British piece". I like that the characters are ugly and they're beautiful and they're cruel and they're nurturing. There's so much complexity to the characters, they're so well-written, and I find that interesting. There's ambiguity within the characters, and that's what really attracted me to it, to the performance.
[on his own unguarded nudity in Shame (2011)] It was important to go all out, not take shortcuts there, and to be sort of naked in every respect. Otherwise, I don't think the film would have worked.
[on if he felt 'disgusting' playing the role of Connor in Fish Tank (2009)] It washes away. I think it's important to go to places that are uncomfortable. For the benefit of others, maybe. You're facing all these ugly things, and knowing well this is an ugly thing and it's there somewhere in all of us. And so you're representing the ugliness. Connor does cross the line in Fish Tank, but on the flip-side he is the catalyst for [the heroine] to become her own person. He is the only one who inspires her with confidence to follow her dreams. And that she's not destined for shit. And so it's again playing with that ambiguity.
The problem is, we feel a lot of pressure about looking silly or appearing weak, whatever that means, or being a failure. You have to keep in your head: what's the worst that can happen? I'm trying to tell a story - what's the worst that can happen? You fall flat on your face, then hopefully you get back up again and go for it again and try something else. We're all going to die one day. I'm stealing that off Steve [McQueen]; it's what he'd say when he ordered me to take my clothes off. 'WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE ONE DAY!'
[on being nude in films and full frontal nudity] To be honest with you again, I think it's the idea of male frontal nudity. It just baffles me: Women can parade around naked all the time, but the guy conveniently has his pants on. I remember my mom always complaining about that to me, saying, "This is such bullshit, it's always the women who are naked" ... so I did this one for you, Mom!
[on if he had any problem beating on Gina Carano in Haywire (2011)] It didn't really faze me. This isn't Michael Fassbender doing this, it's the character. I'm here to serve the story and the character. And in real life, Gina would beat the shit out of me in any circumstance. I mean, have you seen her on YouTube?
I suppose the German side wants to keep everything in control, and the Irish side wants to wreak havoc.
I have a theory that everyone's crazy anyway. And those who think they aren't, are the ones who are even crazier - because they're in denial.
...but you keep a realism, put AC/DC on, get over it, keep positive.
I think you're either a good director or you're not, and it doesn't really matter if it's female or male. I mean, Andrea Arnold is very good at creating a safe environment to work in, and she loves working with actors and she's very clear. And all of those directors are like that - Steve McQueen, Quentin Tarantino. They love their work, and they're good at it, so it makes my job so much easier, and then they bring a lot more out of me because of that.
[on David 8, his role in Prometheus (2012)] I am playing a robot. It'll be a good excuse, the critics can't say, "Oh, he was very wooden in that". I can say, "I was supposed to be". I wanted to avoid attitude, make him appear like he's kind of neutral most of the time. But you also have to hint at a few human characteristics, as if he might have something like a soul.
At one point you think, Well, it's funny, I could just be a starving actor... So if somebody were to pull the plug right now, there'd be no room for complaint.
I really wanted to be a guitarist - I wanted to be a lead guitarist. But I wasn't good enough. And it's always hard to find a drummer, especially in small towns. Or a bass player. So it was just me and this other guy Mike - the two Mikes - and we tried to put on a gig one time in this pub at lunchtime, playing Metallica. It didn't go off too well. They kept turning the volume down, so it was like Unplugged, but with electric guitars. That was the one and only gig I ever played.
I like characters that are flawed because we all are. People are complicated. Our behavior towards one another is strange. So I like opportunities to investigate that.
[on the red carpet of the BAFTAs in 2012 about what films he enjoyed] You know, I haven't seen a great deal of films this year but I -- you know, I really enjoyed Senna (2010). I have -- I was always sort of been -- you know, I was always a fan of Ayrton Senna, and kind of was my introduction to Formula 1, and I'm a big fan of that. So I really enjoyed that.
[on how society validated the brutalizing slave system] I think that was part and parcel of the day. How many people are holding the Bible up with one hand and trying to launch a missile with the other? I almost think religion and pain go hand-in-hand sometimes, and that was sort of the way to just keep everyone in check, another way of keeping people suppressed and controlled.
[on undertaking Edwin Epps role in 12 Years a Slave (2013)] I just tried to find a human being there, as opposed to some evil plantation owner. This is complex, this sort of relationship. Obviously being a slave is the worst deal. You get whipped and beaten and suppressed every day, but the suppressor is also going to be affected by that. So how does that affect the person administering all this pain and suffering? He's a human being who's caught up in something so complicated and so unjust. I always thought of Epps as a boil on the skin of society, representing how damaged the whole society was.
[on working with Marion Cotillard in Macbeth (2015)] She's got so much courage just to take on the part in the first place. She's quite a quiet person, but onscreen she's just electric. I didn't have to discuss any ideas that I wanted to do, anything that came to mind during a take. I would just do it, and she always responded. She's just very easy to work with. Zero drama, except what's in the scene.
[on the effect of playing the role of 'Frank' with a paper bag on his head] When you put on a mask there's this sort of feeling like being bulletproof. I immediately felt a sense of mischief, playfulness and an anarchic sort of streak as well. Kind of like that trust exercise where you fall backwards and hopefully the people in the room catch you, otherwise you hit the ground. That's kind of what it was like every day.
[on improvising] It's hard. Sometimes it just becomes mush. It's very important that the team doing it are in sync and are listening to one another and they've got a direction. Otherwise it could turn into a shouting fest - it just becomes rudderless.
[on his reaction to watching himself in movies] I love it. I like to do it many times. (Laughs) No, it's not a particular fun thing to do. It's like hearing your answering message on the phone. Except you get the visual to go with it. So, yeah, I just think it's part of my job to sort of take a look and see what I've done wrong.
The great thing about doing independent films is that they move fast, and I like that. I like the speed, and having to be on your toes...The little films need the big films to do well because they are dependent on getting that money. Frank (2014) gets made because I do something like X-Men: First Class (2011) or Prometheus (2012).
[on being cast as 'Frank'] I just read the script and was like, "This is nuts. This is fucking nuts, and I want to be part of it." It's fun. I laughed out loud many times reading it, and it was poignant and touching. He is this sort of frail, geeky character... I definitely ramped up the physicality more than I would do in another film because the expression is essentially from the neck down.
Well physically, I am attracted to darker women, I'm not gonna lie. To me I personally find them beautiful, but of course there's more to a person than what meets the eye. Everyone has their own uniqueness.
[on impersonating Ian McKellen's accent in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)] In the last film, Matthew (Vaughn, its director) said 'I like your accent, it's kind of weird - not really Irish, but there's this strange sort of James Bond edge'. So I didn't have to do any work on it. But here the performances needed to parallel each other, so rather than going up to Sir Ian and saying 'You need to study my accent,' I thought I'd try to copy his... After all, it's his role. I'm just a visitor. There was this clip on YouTube where Sir Ian was giving a lecture on Shakespeare, I listened to that one over and over to try and get it. So when you see this 'X-Men,' well, I sound a bit different. Perhaps the whole time Magneto's been locked up he's been taking elocution lessons.
[on Marion Cotillard - Cannes Film Festival, 2015] I think Marion is the best in the business. She brings a grace to everything that she does, which is just in her I think. But at the same time she is very human and I think when she portrays a character the audience has something of a mirror in front of them and see much of themselves in her. Just to be standing opposite her and to see just the most engaged partner and somebody who is listening seems like such a simple thing, but the best actors are great listeners. She listens so brilliantly and responds to whatever is happening in the moment and is very generous in return. She'll take something, use it, form it and give it back to you. So it's very easy. We worked comprehensively in rehearsal, but once we started filming we didn't discuss things and just presented them when the camera was rolling. I really enjoy that way of working.
I'm terrible with technology. It behaves strangely around me. Things crash all the time. I rejected the mobile phone for so long, until people were like, "We can't get in touch with you. This can't go on."
After Prometheus (2012), I think I did six films back-to-back, and it's fine when you're doing them - Okay, that's cool, I'll just go on to the next one - but it's actually in that downtime period where you stop and think, What's going on with me?
[on if he knew Marion Cotillard before working with her in Macbeth (2015)] I had met her very briefly at these sorts of events, but no, I hadn't had a conversation with her. I just told her I was a fan of her work and think she's just an amazing actor. She does so much by appearing to do nothing. She has this amazing strength and fragility in the same beat of an eyelash. She's very generous partner to work with, very easy to work with. I don't like to talk too much, with either director or actor, before doing the scene. I always think it's a way of preventing yourself from going and doing it. It's like, I'm a bit scared, so I'll talk, rather than just going and going through things and trying, throwing things out. She just picks up the ball and she runs with it, like that scene-the scorpion scene. I put my hand underneath her dress; I didn't tell her I was going to do that, and she took it and she went with it and then she kisses me and then pulls away. She's got this sort of repulsion, and then she reengages, and she's like, "I love this man, I feel him, he's sick." All these things are happening on her face. That's when you realize you're in the presence of somebody great. I knew when she came on board I was just so happy, I knew she would nail it. And she brings this sort of royal quality. I love the idea that he's more rough, sort of from the gutter-type character, and she's regal, she's got royal blood. It's the dichotomy between them. It's pretty cool.
I always try and understand, and not judge. It's like, I always think that all of us are pretty much the same. You know, we're all made up of the same things. We all want the same things. We wanna be accepted, we wanna be loved.
[asked how often he gets mistaken for Tom Hiddleston] Happens all the time. I can see the similarities, but I'm better looking than him [laughs]. Other than that, yes. I like Tom.

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