The New York Times Style Magazine has a new interview with Michael, as well a new photoshoot. Here’s the interview, the photoshoot and the behind scenes video.
Michael Fassbender, Nobody’s Fool
Despite his surprisingly straightforward approach to acting, the man who will soon play both Macbeth and Steve Jobs is full of contradictions. On the road with film’s magnetic outsider.
“I HAD ALREADY been turned down by two drama schools,” Michael Fassbender was explaining over breakfast in one of those New York hotel restaurants where beautiful people add wheatgrass to their smoothies. That rejection at 19 led him to London to try his luck auditioning for the Drama Centre there. He had prepared an Iago monologue, had gone over it hundreds of times, but he was still nervous. He had been replaying the words of a director from one of the other drama schools, who had told him that he could recognize an actor from the way he enters a room. ‘‘I still hate that,’’ said Fassbender. Before the audition, he was trying to get the director’s words out of his mind. ‘‘I went to the urinal, and as I was pissing, I saw that someone had written ‘Hi, Cookie!’ on the wall. Those words were staring at me, as I stood there. I had just finished playing the Cook in a production of ‘Mother Courage,’ and I had done it with a Scottish accent. Cook; cookie. ‘I’ll do the Iago monologue in a Scottish accent,’ I decided, even though that wasn’t how I had prepared it.’’ After the audition, Fassbender was asked why he’d chosen that accent, to which he answered something about it being a way to bring mischief into the piece, which seemed true enough. ‘‘It’s funny. I haven’t thought about that for years and years. I’m not saying what I saw was a sign or anything. But maybe I did sort of take it that way, and that helped me.’’
The 38-year-old actor diverted into this anecdote while we were talking about his role in the upcoming film adaptation of what theater people call the Scottish Play. It’s considered unlucky to call it by its name, ‘‘Macbeth’’ — which is precisely how he refers to it. Fassbender, who is playing the cursed king, doesn’t really buy into prophecies, signs and superstitions. ‘‘Except,’’ he said, ‘‘that whenever I see a solitary magpie, I salute.’’ I hadn’t heard the one about saluting a solitary magpie. Maybe it’s an Irish thing. Fassbender grew up in the southwest region of County Kerry, though his mother is from County Antrim in the north and his father is German.
You can read the full article on The NY Times Style Website or pick up the print version of the magazine that goes out on September 13th.