Michael Fassbender on Catholicism: “It’s not all bad and abuse of boys”

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.

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55 Responses to “Michael Fassbender on Catholicism: “It’s not all bad and abuse of boys””

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  1. Bite me says:

    Still not seeing the hot *sigh*

  2. Amber says:

    Love the interview! I couldn’t help smiling the whole time lol Despite all the fame that he’s come across or he’ll get from his movies, he still manages to stay humble and down to earth. Also, the new photos are delish! I like his hair low cut, and I wouldn’t mind a little cuff here and there.

  3. Kiki says:

    He’s starting to look old.

  4. islandgirl says:

    Gosh he is beautiful

  5. Manuela says:

    Love him. no more words.

  6. Sophie says:

    sigh. that was a great interview!

  7. Lynnie says:

    I don’t know who this guy is except for being an actor that lots of women LOVE, but I sooooooooooooo appreciate him being willing to speak affectionately and warmly about his Catholic faith. So many people are so against the Church and I always enjoy hearing/reading from someone who has something positive to say. Thank you, Mr. Fassbender!

    • Emily says:

      I agree! It’s a welcome change.

    • RocketMerry says:

      I, too, agree. It’s a very loving and warm religion and I’m glad somebody is not afraid to say so (even though sometimes I feel like the harshness of some rules is the only thing that is proposed to people outside of the religion).
      I’ve been amongst priests all my life and never experienced anything bad on their part, so I don’t get the hate towards them. Then again, I’m European so maybe it’s a USA thing.

    • Jen34 says:

      I agree, too. I’m a lapsed Catholic, but still consider myself a Catholic. My dad was an alter boy, and he looked up to his parish priest. He grew up poor, and he tells stories of how the priest would give him money and food for his family because he knew they were struggling. He also tells of how his mom would call the priest when he or his brothers got in trouble. He credits the priest with keeping him from crossing the line. It’s sad that all we ever hear are bad things. I’m sure there are plenty of honest, good priests out there.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Oh ok gotcha. I didn’t know it was a trend. I’m happy for y’all then 🙂
        I just hope God doesn’t smite him for all the full-frontal in Shame 🙂

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Not to be a kill-joy but if you read the article, he also says that he drifted away from Catholicism because there were “too many contradictions”.

      • RocketMerry says:

        We understood that, we’re just glad that he’s not trash talking his former/stand by religion like so many do, since it appears to be a new trend =)

      • T.C. says:

        True he drifted away but he has warm memories, values priests still, walks into a church from time to time and generally isn’t trashing the religion. It’s more fashionable to trash Catholicism these day, it’s unexpected to have a sexy beast like Fassbender saying positive things about the Church. I like his Altar boy stories, very cute and honest.

      • OMSS says:

        I think they are aware of this… I think they are happy that he is highlighting the positives from his own personal experience. I’m not a Catholic and I know very little about it. At present, I have only seen negative things in the media about it- for a good reason of course.

      • podzol says:

        @Lynnie & TC: He’ll every now and then talk about Catholicism in his interviews and how it entertwined his formative years, and it was always with loving memory and fondness of the social experiences it brought forth. Love this Irish lad.

    • Girl says:

      Very true. Good for him. Religion is such a dicey subject for many people. Many people also seem to fall into the trap of thinking that if religion it isn’t for them, it mustn’t be for anyone else either. Or only stupid people. (and far too many religious people seem to think the same thing which is equally ridiculous).

      • lrm says:

        I’ll just say that unfortunately pedophilia has been rampant in other ‘same sex separated religions’ incuding buddhism and islam. this is not meant to be slander to get off track from the post. just that it’s a huge problem in general, and i am glad that it is being uncovered.
        that said, i grew up catholic and drifted away for the same reasons fassbender mentions. at the same time, i associate it with a huge, warm irish family that i grew up in….and it gave you a sense of place in the world, that was valuable.
        The huge scandals of the church are nothing to ignore, but they also don’t negate completely the positive role the church has and still plays in many communities.

        This is WEIRD,by the way, b/c this past xmas i felt strangely drawn to go to church for the first time in years, and took my child. my spouse and i were raised catholic but are not active catholics in any way. anyway, we got asked to bring up the gifts this xmas, which was hilarious [and an honor] but just such a funny thing after all these years. my child loved it.
        And you can tell the church is attempting to be progressive with sermons and very welcoming to all.
        Mainly, the xmas choir and peacefullness of the atmosphere/decorations, was very welcome to me this year.
        So, funny this fassbender guy is mentioning this topic. wonder if any others are having similar ‘re-visiting’ of catholicism experiences?

  8. Jules says:


  9. brin says:

    Fassie an altar boy? Bet he was a mischievous one!

  10. Asli says:

    Love the interview! Okay I have a question. This is awkward… so I haven’t seen any of his movies because I’ve only learned of him through this site the last couple of weeks and I know he’s done full-frontal nudity in his movies. So when anybody says ‘beast in his pants’… does that mean… BEAST in his pants? OMG, so weird asking but I srsly wannna know 😛

    And LOL at ‘the O’Fassbenders’! He is srsly funny (which I may not have noticed previously because of my obsession with the Skarsdong :P)

    • Kaiser says:

      Yes, he has a BEAST in his pants. Everyone is talking about the size of his dong, since everyone sees it in Shame.

      • Asli says:

        OMG! I sooooo need to see that movie then! Hahhaahah, I feel slutty but we’re ‘all gonna die one day’ so why not!

      • Mairead says:

        And you were there, front row and centre. 😆

        Measuring tape in hand. 😯

        Fair play to yeh 😉

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Well I saw Shame and not to get technical but the sizing really depends on if he’s a “GROW-er” or a “SHOW-er” because you only see it in the um….not-hard stage. But yeah, seems like he has something good to work with 🙂

  11. Cathy says:

    He’s one handsome beast. Don’t care for his hair so short, but hell that can grow back out. @Kaiser, now I’m gonna have to get that movie Shame, hmmm wonder if Wally World carries it.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Cathy-it is in theaters now. You definitely won’t ever find it at Walmart-it’s NC-17 🙂

  12. foozy says:

    his head is too big for his body!

  13. Mirella says:

    Kaiser, I love your Fassy articles. They make my day 🙂

  14. Bubbling says:

    My, my I can finally see it. All the bitches got hot for him cause of the Kaiser lol… he so owes her

  15. nemera says:

    He is OK looking but not gorgeous. I get the sexy.. but that is all. I just don’t go over the top for him..

    Great actor

  16. TheOriginalKitten says:

    So hot. I actually like the close-cropped hair better than the corporate-dude “poof” he had in Shame. I like him best though when his hair is a little longer and wet or just shaggy. Such a sexy guy….

  17. chatcat says:

    I am converted…to a Fass fan. Charming, funny, honest and talented. More of us Catholics need to be as honest about our experiences and contradictions so that we grow as people. The problem with most of “Hollywood” is there lack of faith and only their own self worth. Thanks Fass for being refreshingly honest in a positive way. P.S. I still don’t get what his attraction was to ZK.

  18. Asli says:

    I got stomach cramps from laughing so hard! That was hilarious!

    Reply to OriginalKitten reply to foosy!

  19. Nanea says:

    FASSY @ NBR is pure eyecandy, tired or not.

  20. Nancito says:

    RED ALERT – Chelsea Handler was on Conan last night and she said that she is looking for a man with an accent – quote “someone like Michael Fassbender”! Oh noes!!

    • podzol says:

      Seriously — eww was my first thought. Michael, please don’t approach this hot mess, not even with a ten-foot pole.

      The expression ten-foot pole takes on a whooole new meaning post-Shame screening.

    • sayHEY! says:

      If he ever decides to date Chelsea, I’ll lose all my respect for him.

    • Addison says:

      Blech… Chelsy! Thankfully she is not his type!

  21. UKHels says:

    I was so happy to pick up my Guardian on Saturday morning and see him sexing out of the front of the magazine for me

    he lives in Hackney, it’s like FIVE MILES AWAY – I wonder if I should just go and wander the streets looking for him

    • Addison says:

      Lucky you! You people in the UK must get more stories on him because of him being local. If I lived there I would say let’s meet up so that we could stalk him together. Two could definitely kidnap him… Sure, he’s a man, but women on a mission can be quite capable!

  22. Jenna says:

    I actually work right next to Cipriani on 42nd street, so I got to see all the stars. And I will say, that though this man does nothing for me, he looks much better in person.

  23. Addison says:

    Ha, ha, ha! I cannot stop laughing. Kaiser you are hilarious!

    “…my boy looks tired. He’s probably been unleashing the beast every night for months.”

    That had me laughing so hard, I started crying. Thankfully I am on work lunch break. I could not stop laughing!

    And then when Asli asks:
    “… does that mean… BEAST in his pants? OMG, so weird asking but I srsly wannna know”

    Kaiser your answer had me laughing again. (“Yes, he has a BEAST in his pants.”) I almost chocked on my food.

    Fassbender posts are the best!

  24. JuliaDomna says:

    His posture leaves much to be desired.

  25. Susie says:

    Fassy in LA tomorrow – will see him at the Critic’s Choice awards 🙂

    Jan 18 on Letterman!

    In the meantime, how cute is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSC17KSt5Yo

  26. Toyin says:

    I fink he is funny and smart..hot too.

  27. LucyOriginal says:

    How did I miss this post? I explain: I was on my flight back to US. I cannot believe I miss him yet again, few hours after NBR. *Sigh*

    ps: He didn’t mention if he likes brainy women, kept me wondering…hmmmm

  28. LucyOriginal says:

    I meant to say: I arrived in NYC few hours after NBR