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McQueen on Fassbender's 'Shame' Snub: Americans Are 'Too Scared of Sex'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 21, 2012 at 2:45PM

If you wondered why Michael Fassbender was passed over for an Oscar nod this year, his "Shame" director has the answer. "In America they're too scared of sex, that's why he wasn't nominated," he told The Press Association. (Fassbender was also snubbed for well-reviewed performances in "A Dangerous Method" and "Jane Eyre.")
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Michael Fassbender in "Shame"
Michael Fassbender in "Shame"

If you wondered why Michael Fassbender was passed over for an Oscar nod this year, his "Shame" director has the answer. "In America they're too scared of sex, that's why he wasn't nominated," he told The Press Association. (Fassbender was also snubbed for well-reviewed performances in "A Dangerous Method" and "Jane Eyre.") McQueen thinks that Fassbender's omission from the Best Actor list (George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jean Dujardin, Gary Oldman, Damien Bichir) is "kind of crazy. But that's how it is, it's an American award, let them have it."

Further defending his leading man, who also starred in McQueen's "Hunger" and upcoming "Twelve Years a Slave" (alongside Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor) and "The Counselor" (with director Ridley Scott and scripter Cormac McCarthy), the filmmaker insists that Fassbender is a "once-in-a-generation actor" who can "transform and transcend, and you actually believe him, so that's the kind of guy he is."

Fassbender appeared on the covers of THR and GQ, and participated in Newsweek's Oscar roundtable. It seemed a given that the actor would be nominated for an Oscar, as he was for the BAFTAs and Golden Globes (though not, notably, SAG). Alas, Fox Searchlight couldn't overcome the film's NC-17 transgressive subject matter with older voters who make up much of the Academy.

"Shame" will be released in a Blu-ray combo pack on April 17.

This article is related to: Michael Fassbender, Steve McQueen, Academy Awards, Oscars, Awards, Awards, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.