The Lowdown: Things you didn’t know about Michael Fassbender

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

If the term ‘up and coming’ had an entrancing, awe-inspiring and downright sexy mascot – like Disney does – it would be Michael Fassbender.

The very definition of ‘new talent’, you may have seen him most recently in Brit ‘Hoodie Horror’ Eden Lake and Steve McQueen’s multi-award winning, factual starve-athon Hunger. With the news that he has been shortlisted as one of the nominees for BAFTA’s Orange Rising Star Award, OTB decided to delve a little deeper into the man currently holding the British film industry in the palm of his hands.

1. As you can probably tell by his very un-Cornwall-sounding surname, Michael is not from around these here parts. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, on the 2nd April 1977, Michael later moved to Ireland with his parents and was brought up in Killarney, County Kerry.

2. Michael speaks fluent German. Which kind of makes sense what with his father, Josef Fassbender, being German and all.

3. There’s a silver lining to every genome though. His mother is Irish and it actually turns out that he’s descended from Michael Collins, one of the leader’s of Ireland’s war of independence!

4. James’ first major role and notable ‘breakthrough’ performance was in the Stephen Spielberg/Tom Hanks collaboration, Band of Brothers, playing Sgt. Burton ‘Pat’ Christensen.

5. Boot camp training for the war series must have served him well in preparation for his award-winning portrayal of hunger-striking Irish activist Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger’. He lost 14 kilos (also known as 30lbs or 3 Calista Flockharts) to play the role. “It was the only way we could possibly do it and make it convincing,? he said. “I felt really focused, really centred, really strong. Hungry all the time, obviously.?

6. He has formed his own production company called Peanut Productions which he then used to produce, direct and perform in a stage version of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in his home town of Killarney, Ireland.

7. Michael plays the guitar, piano and…. Accordion?

8. In an OTB interview with the director of Eden Lake, James Watkins, called Michael the “most generous actor I’ve ever met?. A sentiment echoed by a number of his co-workers. For his role in A Bear Called Winnie, animal trainers recollected that he was regularly to be found at 5:30am in the morning bonding with the bears. “We love him, but geez, go home sometimes,? they joked.

9. 2009 looks to be Michael’s year for shiny trophies, and so far he has been nominated for an Evening Standard British Film Award, Irish Film & TV Award, BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award, and London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.

10. Making sure to strike while the silverware is hot, Michael is currently scheduled to appear in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming WW2 movie, Inglourious Basterds and a remake of The Sweeney.