McQueen Talks the Masculinity and Femininity of Fassbender in Interview Magazine

by Sophia Savage
January 30, 2012 1:46 PM
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Interview Magazine
Michael Fassbender - the most egregious snub of the 2012 Oscar nominees - covers Interview Magazine's February issue. His day will come, we're not worried about that. "Prometheus" will increase his mainstream appeal this June, and he'll team with Steve McQueen for a third time (and Brad Pitt for the second) in 2013's "Twelve Years a Slave." Check out our interview with him here.

Fassbender's "Shame" director, Steve McQueen, tells Interview, “What’s most compelling about Michael is his femininity,” adding “Michael is a very masculine person. One could say he’s a man’s man. But what elevates him for me—and I think what draws audiences to him—is his understanding that when you play the character, that person is somehow related to the audience. A lot of movie stars are not human—they’re more than human in a way, so there’s a barrier that exists between them and the audience. But Michael has a fragility that allows him to have a relationship with an audience that has no barrier.”

Here's an excerpt from the interview, conducted by Josh Brolin:

Fassbender: All of [the characters I've played] are trying to connect to one another in some way or other. We’re all trying to connect to each other and find some levels of intimacy. There’s so much going on in the world. There’s so much information being thrown at us—so many things are being sold to us, and we’re being told how we should appear and how to be more successful, blah, blah, blah. How does that manifest itself? In the pressures, the stress, this need to escape. I like Brandon [in "Shame"] because he’s trying. You mentioned this idea of disgust—that was something I knew I wanted to represent in him in the sex scenes, making them a repulsive sort of thing to look at. But I was also hoping and banking on the fact that he’s trying. There’s his date with the character Marianne: They go for the walk where he’s clumsy, but he tries to open himself up, and we see this childlike personality start to emerge. So I was just hoping the audience would understand that he’s struggling with this addiction. It’s not like he’s going, “To hell with it, and damn the consequences.” He’s living the consequences.

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  • Alice In Actionland | February 1, 2012 8:23 PMReply

    I think Steve McQueen is a brilliant director. And, as a filmmaker, I'd kill to work with Michael Fassbender some day! I gushed about him in my most recent blog posting: http://aliceinactionland.blogspot .com/2012/01/letter-to-michael-fassbender.html

  • jingmei | January 30, 2012 10:09 PMReply

    He's mix of Irish and German, so Hollywood thinks he's not their dish.

  • James M. | January 30, 2012 3:50 PMReply

    The entire interview is quite good. Better than the usual superficial interview by actors. This man was totally robbed of an Oscar nomination.

  • FF | January 30, 2012 1:49 PMReply

    And now the sequel to X-Men: First Class is coming too--Matthew Vaughn has signed on!

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