I’m writing this because… you know, I just can’t help myself. The header is Michael’s cover for the January issue of L’Uomo Vogue. Lady Gaga has a cover too, but they really should have just given Fassy his own solo cover, no questions asked. I’m not a huge fan of the shot, but I’ll take it. Meanwhile, I finally got a chance to read Michael Fassbender’s Guardian interview, which came out several days ago. It’s not an interview where he talks endlessly about unleashing the beast in his pants and wrecking our collective sweetshops, but it’s still a nice piece. My fondness of Fassy came about because he’s gorgeous and just my type, with the accent and the ginge and all. Then I started seeing him as an amazing actor. And now I love him even more because he’s consistently a good interview. He’s funny and self-aware and generous to his friends and coworkers. He’s also pretty smart. And, you know, he’s f–king gorgeous. You can read the full Fassy piece here, and here are some highlights:
The premiere of Shame: “My mum was supposed to be there,” Fassbender says. “And in a way, thank God, her back played up. Maybe in her subconscious she developed a back pain on the eve of the screening.” Even without her, when the lights came up Fassbender was, “a little bit shell-shocked. Everyone in that movie theatre had seen me in some pretty uncomfortable… ahem, wait a minute! Let me get my clothes back on here.”
Addiction and Shame: “Scratch the surface of what’s socially normal. I suppose in some way all of us have something we display to the public and things we feel too ashamed of or uncomfortable with to reveal to other people” – but one that required a lot of courage in the performers. Fassbender is not, he says, “very exhibitionist” when it comes to taking off his clothes. “I was self-conscious, for sure, but it was something I had to get over very quickly. Those scenes are really where you get an insight into the guy’s psyche. When you see him naked, it’s in more ways than one. I had to be on the ball and not thinking about those things. And you try to make sure that your partner in the scene is comfortable. I’d say, ‘Let’s go for it now and it’ll be over soon.’ It sounds terrible, like a really bad chat-up line.” He laughs. “Quite threatening, actually.”
He was head altar boy when he was 12: Fassbender was head altar boy as a child, which he thinks of with a wry nod as his first starring role. He would rotate responsibilities with three other boys, an extraordinary duty he thinks, looking back, and not one he always fulfilled. “I had the keys to the church and had to open it in the morning, and attend all the masses and weddings and funerals and whatever it entailed for that month. And lock the church at night. That’s quite a lot to do at 12. And I remember –” he starts to giggle – “a couple of times I slept in. And the whole congregation was waiting outside the church. And we had these American priests who’d come to visit, and I’d be running across the fields with the keys. It was so crazy to think it was in my hands. But that was my first experience in a way of being on stage, before an audience, of sorts.”
He wasn’t touched by his priest: His experience of the Catholic church generally was benign thanks to his local priest, Father Galvin, who was, he says, “very cool. It’s not all bad and abuse of boys. A lot of people relied on him. He would be there to listen. Obviously the idea of hell and suffering is kind of heavy-duty, but there was a lot of positivity.”
Having a German name in Ireland: There were no other Fassbenders in his class at school (“In amongst the Fitzgeralds and the O’Sullivans – the O’Fassbenders?!”).
His sister: His sister, a neuropsychologist – “Or neuroscientist, I’m not sure” – is “very brainy”, and he bursts out laughing. “She was opposite to me, she loved reading. Always asking questions. Signs of intelligence at a young age. I was much more interested in my imaginative world. And building things and being more physical.”
Working with Gina Carano on Haywire: Fassbender plays a minor role, notable for the fact he gets beaten to death in a hotel room by a woman (Gina Carano). Soderbergh asked in advance if he was OK with this, both in terms of his ego and also the fact that he has to fight back and be seen punching a woman in the face. He was fine with it, he says, not least because Carano turned out to be twice the man Fassbender is. “She beat the sh-t out of me anyway. There were no body doubles and Gina was like, ‘Drive me into the television harder.’ I was like, ‘You know, we’re acting here, Gina, we’re not in the ring. Let’s establish that before it’s your turn to start hitting me.’ ”
The London riots and Catholicism: He lives in Hackney. (He was on holiday in Europe when the riots happened, turned on the TV and was like, “Oh, that’s my flat. Fire everywhere. There was no damage, luckily. Shocking.”) When he’s touring, he’ll go into a church to light a candle, but he drifted from Catholicism years ago – “Too many contradictions” – although he was horrified when a German priest told him off recently for wandering into his church wearing a hat. “And of course in Germany, they let you know. My grandfather would be very cross – he believed you entered any building at all, you take your hat off.”
We‘re all going to die one day, so show the Fassdong: “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; it’s what he’d say when he ordered me to take my clothes off. ‘WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE ONE DAY!'” With that in mind he asks if there’s time for a cigarette before his next appointment. Yes, says the PR. “Woo!” says Fassbender and, grinning, bounces out of the room.
[From The Guardian]
Love when he talks about a girl kicking his ass. Love when he talks about being an altar boy. Love the O’Fassbender joke. Love the motto: “What’s the worst that can happen? We’re all going to die one day!” Any excuse for Fassy to take off his pants.
Below, I’m including new photos of Fassy at last night’s National Board of Review Awards, where Fassy received the Spotlight Award for his breakthrough performances this year. I’m not crazy about his closely-cropped ginger hairstyle, and my boy looks tired. He’s probably been unleashing the beast every night for months. Sigh….
Photos courtesy of WENN.