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// October 18, 2017

Michael spoke with Vulture and discussed his latest film, The Snowman, race-car driving, doing a rom-com, and kissing himself in Alien: Covenant.

Harry’s a drunk and an iffy father figure and a misanthrope who pushes chairs away in his office cafeteria so he doesn’t have to talk to people. What did you like about him? 
A detective is a genre that I wanted to do. Then reading the books, I just really like the character. Jo had such an investment in this character. He’s really human, and I could imagine him as somebody who is living and breathing and existing. I love the fact that he’s not an action hero. When he goes into a scuffle, he usually comes out the worse for wear. And the drinking thing is just him self-medicating. I think he hates his job. He’s brilliant at it, and he can’t step away from it. There’s an obsessiveness that is part of his personality and part of his relationship to the job. So there’s a lot going on there, and then some of the stuff is in contradiction, which is interesting to play with.

Do you think you’d make a good detective?
No.

Why not?
Cause I don’t have an interest in it. I think if you want to be good at something — to find happiness in it — you have to have a passion for it.

You’ve read all the books in the Harry Hole series except The Snowman, which you avoided so it wouldn’t interfere with how you interpreted the script. How do you make time to read? 
You know, you sit around set a lot. There’s a lot of time in between setups when I just read. I read in the evenings, whenever I have free time.

Would you want this to turn into a movie franchise like the Jack Reacher books?
Yes, I would, yeah.

Is there a limit to how many series you can handle?
As long as I feel like I want to do them, I’ll participate.

Harry has some weird quirks. Can you explain them? First, he carries his files in a plastic grocery bag.
It just felt right. He doesn’t carry things on him a lot. We felt that it was interesting. What he has, he has on him. And I just thought there’s something interesting and temporary about a plastic bag, something very naff, not organized, but in a way still just very practical. It’s unusual. But it was just something that happened on the day. I was like, “Maybe the plastic bag?” I just like those quirks, you know.

When he takes a nap, he sleeps on a pillow made of record albums. 
I think he’s just listening to music. For me, if I’m lying on my back resting, I always like to have something under my head.

No matter how cold it gets, he never zips up his jacket. 
That’s right. That’s just to make him look like a tough guy.

You really did shoot this in Norway in the winter. How cold did it get? 
You know, it’s funny because Tomas talked about not putting on the jacket. He said he was on a bus trip one time and the bus driver stood outside the bus having a cigarette in short sleeves. That non-awareness of the cold that that guy seemed to have, he wanted to incorporate that into Harry, as well. It was cold, but not really that bad. It’s a very dry cold there, so it was quite refreshing. I enjoyed it, actually — it was invigorating. The air was so clean. I liked it because before I went out there, I was thinking, “Ugh, it’s going to be brutal.” But it wasn’t that bad.

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// October 07, 2017

Michael and co-star Rebecca Ferguson stopped by the BBC Radio 2 show, Steve Wright’s Big Guests, and discussed their upcoming film, The Snowman and impressed with their vocal skills. Give it a listen! As we all know Michael, it’s such a fun interview.

// December 22, 2016

Do you ever stop working? It looks like you’ve been making movies non-stop for almost a decade now.
‘It’s been pretty full-on. I had a ferocious appetite and energy for it, and I went at it like a maniac. But I’m going to take some downtime now. The last five years, I was verging on being a workaholic. I’ve just been going from film to film.’

Your new movie ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is based on a computer game. Were you a big gamer?
‘Yeah, I played video games in my teens in Ireland. We never had one at home. My friend had an Atari and I would go round to his place to play it. I played arcade games too.’

‘Assassin’s Creed’ isn’t your first crack at acting and producing at the same time. You put on a stage production of ‘Reservoir Dogs’ when you were 18. That’s quite a precocious thing to do.
‘I didn’t know what I was doing, but we put so much work into it. I remember we all put on black suits and black ties and went around town putting flyers on car windscreens. We even carried toy guns with us – you probably couldn’t do that now.’

What kind of teenager were you?
‘I wasn’t super-popular and I wasn’t a total geek. I was somewhere in the middle. I was a geek but I got along with people. I loved my music. That was when music defined you. You were a goth or a grungehead or a metalhead, and from 15 to 17 music was a big part of me. Then, at 17, I discovered acting and that became all-consuming. That was what I wanted to do, and I went for it. I wasn’t very academic, I was pretty average. The same with sport, too.’

How do you spend your downtime now?
‘Surfing, which is a fairly new thing for me. I started about four years ago. It’s an immediate unplug. I learned all over the place but did a stint for ten days at a friend’s house in Brazil. I broke the back of it there. That was just before shooting “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. I also like racing. I go karting when I get a chance.’

Are you a risk-taker?
‘I don’t want to get hurt, that’s for sure! I’m not very good at pain. Some people have a relationship to it. I don’t. But I’ve always loved cars. Being a racer was a dream as a kid.’

You got the gang from last year’s ‘Macbeth’ back together for ‘Assassin’s Creed’. Same co-star, Marion Cotillard, same director, Justin Kurzel. Was it a big step up for everyone involved?
‘Yeah, we’ll see if it pays off or not! We wanted to make something on a big scale, but perhaps with something a little more to it. I always said “The Matrix” was a good template. That was a film where something changed. The thing that excites me about “Assassin’s Creed” is this idea in the story of DNA memory. For me, that anchors the fantasy in science and can make people believe in it.’

So you’re not a fan of big fantasy movies?
‘A lot of what’s out there is very similar. These CGI action set pieces that just sort of go on and on… I find it all numbing. We have relatively little CGI in this film – lots of real action and fights, and very little green screen.’

Your mother is Irish. Your father is German. You live in London. How do you feel about Brexit?
‘Gutted. Just gutted.’

At least you’ve already got an Irish passport…
‘I’ve actually got a German passport! I’ve been meaning to get an Irish passport for years and just never got around to it. The thing I love about London is the mix: the mix of all the different cultures and religious backgrounds. That’s what inspires me. For the next generation, the idea that if I had a son or a nephew they could easily go and work abroad like that, the ease of movement through Europe – that alone was worth staying in the EU for.’

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// September 01, 2016

Los Angeles Times – Michael Fassbender tensed up for the briefest instant when the topic of his relationship with Alicia Vikander, both his co-star and his girlfriend, arose.

Then he relaxed and offered a Zen thought. “People will make the presumptions they want to make. If you start to defend anything, it becomes, ‘Methinks the lady doth protest too much,’ ” the actor said, when asked if he thought moviegoers would draw real-life inferences from his work.

“I mean, have you seen ‘Shame?’ ” he quipped, referring to his 2011 portrayal of a sex addict. Vikander, sitting next to him, let loose a sharp laugh.

The pair were side by side at a downtown hotel here recently, polite and formal and trying not to seem like they’re a couple — while trying not to seem like they were trying not to seem like a couple.

Over the course of a conversation, about their new movie “The Light Between Oceans,” they could be professional, even distant. But they also jumped in often to finish each other’s sentences in a manner that reinforced their couplehood — an embodiment of the contradiction that occurs when the modern imperative to stay on message collides with the even more modern reality of everyone knowing everything about everybody.

Since the days of early Hollywood, actors have been falling for each other on set. And for pretty much just as long, we’ve been obsessed with them.

From Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on “Cleopatra” in the early 1960s, engaging in a moltenly dysfunctional affair, to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” in the mid-2000s, also initiating a romance outside one partner’s committed relationship, mid-production hookups have been a regular source of film-fan fascination.

The reason has often had as much to do with us as them: These relationships offer the universal touchstone of the office romance, only more heightened and surreal.

But as it has in so many other areas, the age of social media and rampant exposure has changed the equation. When Jolie and Pitt were first rumored to be together on the “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” set, the idea of an affair broadcast widely using modern media tools was still new. It compelled us for months, right up through when the film landed in theaters.

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// August 30, 2016

Collider: The last few years you’ve been very fortunate. What it’s been like for you being able to work with these such talented actors, talented filmmakers, and be a part of these great projects?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER: It feels good. As an actor, it’s always been good to be working at all, so to be working with this kind of outburst of talent and people that I’ve been working with, yeah, it’s the best.

Jumping into The Light Between the Oceans, one of the things I love about Derek’s work is that he really goes for the emotional honesty in all scenes. Can you talk a little about working with Derek and what he was looking for on set?

FASSBENDER: I think he’s the sort of director that always pushes to find more in the scene. So even if the scene is barely starting forward – maybe three lines, we could run a take without cutting for 30 minutes, trying to sort of discover new things all the time. I mean, as one of the notes for us as actors was to fail to surprise him, so he’s definitely one of those directors that’s very much at the forefront of his mind. You know, when you finish the day, and you finish the scene, you don’t get a chance to go back to it. So you wanna make sure that everything is left on the floor.

I would imagine that you had a lot of choices at that time for projects – what was it about the material that spoke to you to be a part of this?

FASSBENDER: I just read the script, and it just fit me and I sort of found the right emotional place. I felt that it was a really beautiful story. It seemed like it was a story that a lot of people could relate to: a lot of ordinary, decent people trying to sort out life choices, and making a choice that was a bad one but they’re good people and they’re trying to deal with the consequences of that choice. I felt like it was a pretty refreshing story and was told in a respectfully old-fashioned way. You know, we don’t get many of these touching films these days. There’s not a villain and a good guy, there’s just the family—and they’re regular people trying to sort of do the best they can in these circumstances. It’s a beautiful love story as well.

That’s one of the things I wanted to touch on. One of the really refreshing things was for me, there really was no antagonist. It was just a nice change. For me, looking at it from the outside in Hollywood, it’s harder and harder to make these, you know, personal stories. Have you been noticing that as an actor, that getting a script like this is harder and harder?

FASSBENDER: Absolutely, without question.

One of the things I spoke to Derek about yesterday, that really surprised me was that he was editing this for a year. Most filmmakers don’t have that much time to edit. When someone’s editing a project that you’re involved with, how involved do you want to be in the editing room? Or do you sort of say, “just show me when it’s done”?

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// July 26, 2016

Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with Fassbender by phone in anticipation of his upcoming collaboration with The Place Beyond the Pines filmmaker Derek Cianfrance on the drama The Light Between Oceans, and during the course of their conversation Fassbender touched a bit on Covenant. The main difference this time around, it seems, is that Ridley Scott is aiming to really heighten the fright factor.

“This Alien is going to be… I’m very excited to see it and everybody in the film was saying this is a film that we all want to see. It’s much scarier than Prometheus but it’s got the same sort of scope of Prometheus. It’s kind of got more of the sort of thriller, imminent disaster feel that Alien had, so it’s kind of a beautiful meeting of both of those films. I’m really excited to see it, I think it’s gonna be super scary number one and then again with the massive scope of Prometheus… Once it starts and the ball starts rolling, it doesn’t let up. It’s really gonna bring chills to the cinema.”

Source: Collider