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You’d think Michael Fassbender would be living the dream. He’s the star of the current run of X-Men movies and a two-time Academy-Award nominee (12 Years A Slave and Steve Jobs). He’s one of the few actors in Hollywood who seems to have nailed the modern actor’s dream of getting the blockbusters roles, while also being cast in challenging, rewarding indie films. One day, he’ll be portraying the anti-hero Magneto and then the next he’ll be re-creating Frank Sidebottom in Frank. Oh and he’s also dating Ex_Machina and upcoming Tomb Raider star Alicia Vikander. Living the dream.
However it’s not easy being one of the most popular actors on the planet. During a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was an honorary guest, he was very candid about some of his biggest regrets. One of them was his performance as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He reportedly looked embarrassed when the audience was shown the scene where he shouts at James McAvoy’s de-powered Xavier on the airborne plane, almost causing it to crash. When the lights came back on after the scene was shown, he said:
“I don’t actually like that performance there, to be honest. I just think it’s me shouting. It’s just like…some dude shouting.”
But that’s not all. When asked by an audience member what his most difficult role was, he named his Academy-Award nominated turn as Steve Jobs in the Danny Boyle directed Steve Jobs. He name-checked Aaron Sorkin’s script as one of the key reasons.
“He wrote all that stuff! It was so dense! It was such a mountain, and I’m a slow learner, so when the script arrived for me and the opportunity came to play the part, I really thought, This is not me. This should be somebody else. It’s a miscast scenario.”
It’s interesting that Fassbender referred to himself being “miscast,” because he was the last in a long line of actors offered the role of Steve Jobs. A list that included George Clooney, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper and more. It was only thanks to his father and his agent’s persuasion that he took on the role.
“In rehearsals I was trying to find a way to get out of the job. I remember telling my driver, ‘If I put my arm in the door, you should slam it. It should cause a break and it should get me out of this gig.'” Instead, he wound up going back to his hotel and learning more lines. Boring!”
It was quite a fascinating interview as he spoke about how his work on Hunger was his most personal, how he’d love to get cast in a comedy and how much fun he had working on Prometheus. You can next see Michael Fassbender on the big-screen in The Light Between Oceans in theatres now, Assassin’s Creed this December and Alien: Covenant in August 2017.
Images: 20th Century Fox & Universal Pictures