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With movie credits that range from X-Men: Days of Future Past to Inglourious Basterds and 12 Years a Slave—which earned him an Oscar nomination—Michael Fassbender, 38, has become the go-to guy for great roles. Now he’s starring as the co-founder of Apple Inc. in Steve Jobs, currently in theaters. Here are five fun facts you might not know about the German-Irish actor.

  1. Playing a tech giant didn’t completely rub off on Fassbender, who continues to use his old iPhone 4 witha cracked screen.

  2. He served as an altar boy as a child.

  3. Growing up in Ireland, he wanted to be a lead guitarist in a rock band.

  4. Before making it as an actor, he worked for the U.K.’s postal service and as a bartender.

  5. He appeared in TV ads for Guinness beer in 2004.

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“I didn’t really know much about him,” admits Michael Fassbender when asked about playing the title character in “Steve Jobs” (watch below). “I suppose the thing that really stuck with me was meeting people who knew him — John Sculley, Joanna Hoffman, Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld … You could see he was still very much present in their lives. Even if their relationships were difficult, there was a sadness and a love there for him.”

The film by Oscar champ Danny Boyle(“Slumdog Millionaire”) paints a complex portrait of the man as a brutal taskmaster with conflicting emotions about his family and his legacy. The actors credit the screenplay by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin(“The Social Network”) as an essential but demanding part of the process.

Recalls Kate Winslet, who plays Jobs’ marketing guru Joanna Hoffman, “I have to be honest, it was terrifying. I remember all of us walking into the room on day one of rehearsal when you’re trying out your accent and hoping to God that everyone else isn’t looking at you and thinking, ‘She’s shit’. When we walked onto the set, we had to be that well-oiled machine, we had to be ready to go, we had to have Sorkin-ese in our back pockets.”

That difficulty wasn’t lost on Sorkin. “Each of them, at at least one point in the movie, has a long list of things to say. I went over to Jeff [Daniels] and I said, ‘Michael’s a really big Irish guy. I think he’s going to beat me up.’ And Jeff, who had been doing this for three years with ‘The Newsroom’ stared at me and said, ‘I’m a really big Irish guy, and I’m going to beat you up.'”

“Steve Jobs” opens Friday (Oct. 9) in limited release with a nationwide roll-out to follow on October 23.

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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.

Steve Wozniak has officially given Michael Fassbender his stamp of approval.

The computer pioneer, who probably knew Apple co-founder Steve Jobs professionally better than anyone, says Fassbender’s portrayal of the late icon in Steve Jobs is spot-on – even if the two don’t look or sound alike.

“I saw a rough cut and I felt like I was actually watching Steve Jobs and the others,” Wozniak told Deadline. “Not actors playing them, I give full credit to Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for getting it so right.”

In the movie, which debuted to raves last week at the Telluride Film Festival, Fassbender plays the mercurial Macintosh genius. Kate Winslet, who stars as Jobs’ confidante and work associate, thoroughly impressed Wozniak – he said he thinks she’s the movie’s best contender for the film industry’s highest awards.

Wozniak himself is played by Seth Rogen, who, alongside Jeff Daniels and Michael Stuhlbarg, are said to give standout performances, Film reports.

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Below you can view the cover of Michael from the upcoming edition of Times Style Magazine!

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While Michael Fassbender says he doesn’t believe in divine intervention, sometimes certain coincidences are just too hard to ignore.

“I had already been turned down by two drama schools,” the X-Men: Days of Future Past actor, 38, tells The New York Times Style Magazine, setting up the story of how he got his first big break.

At 19-years-old, Fassbender made his third attempt auditioning for the Drama Centre in London. He planned on reciting a monologue from Othello, and despite practicing the part hundreds of times, he still felt nervous.

“I went to the urinal, and as I was pissing, I saw that someone had written, ‘Hi, Cookie!’ on the wall,” Fassbender remembers.

“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.”

Sensing something prophetic in the doodle, Fassbender says he reasoned, “Cook; cookie: ‘I’ll do the Iago monologue in a Scottish accent … Even though that wasn’t how I had prepared it.'”

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Even by the usual standards of the Isle of Skye in early February, it wasn’t the balmiest of mornings. Visibility was so poor that Marion Cotillard, one of the two stars of the new cinema adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth that was filming on the island, had strayed into a bog and disappeared from view. It had taken two crew members to fish her out while the mud sucked at her feet.

By midmorning, the temperature was still 10 degrees below freezing, and the hail was so furious that the director, Justin Kurzel, had to fasten industrial fans to the fronts of his cameras to blow it out of shot. After calling action, Kurzel and his crew watched scenes on a monitor under a flapping tarpaulin. But Michael Fassbender, who was playing Macbeth, had to stand there unshielded, his face turned towards the storm.

I meet Fassbender 15 months later, on a roof-terrace bar during the Cannes Film Festival, the day before Macbeth’s world premiere. It’s 29C outside, and the sun gleams over the bay like a polished plate. The 38-year-old actor is sitting with his shirt unbuttoned to the chest, and his teeth are bared in a wide, wolfish grin.

The terrace is preposterously out of whack with the on-set conditions Fassbender is describing, and we’re both laughing semi-guiltily at the contrast. He concedes that the weather during the Macbeth shoot was on occasion “restrictive”. But for Fassbender, restrictive is good.

“Innovation comes through restriction,” he says. “And while on a big film you’ve got all the options in the world open to you, on a small film even getting it made is a hard thing. I love how fast you have to work – that pressure of having to get it right in one take or not at all.”

Whether the budget allows for one take or 50, Fassbender’s capacity for getting it right is now well known. It’s almost impossible to leave one of his films without feeling you’ve just seen one of the greatest actors of his generation swinging away at the coalface.

His first major screen role came in 2001, with a part in the HBO series Band of Brothers. But his real breakthrough came seven years later with Steve McQueen’s Bafta and Cannes-winning Hunger, in which Fassbender played the IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands, and survived on water and seeds to lose more than two stones for the part.

He went on to star in two more films for McQueen, Shame and 12 Years a Slave, as well as playing the villainous Magneto in two X-Men films (a third is due next summer), the luxuriantly named Lt Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, David, the T E Lawrence-channelling android in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a thunderous Rochester in Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, and other unquiet souls.

Read the entire article at the source

“Eye of the Tiger” is the song that plays on the publicist’s phone as she connects the call with Michael Fassbender. It’s fitting intro music for the prolific 38-year-old actor, who’s made one bold choice after another since his 2008 breakthrough in Steve McQueen’s Hunger. He’s averages four movies per year, ranging from blockbusters (Prometheus, two X-Men films), bold dramas (Jane Eyre, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, for which he scored an Oscar nomination) and genre-warping comedies like Inglourious Basterds and last year’s Frank, where he wore a giant paper mache mask over his face for the entire running time.

Currently in theaters and available on DirecTV, Fassbender stars as a bounty hunter in the tight, stylish Slow West. But he’s calling from Cannes, where on Saturday he attended the last-in-the-lineup premiere of main competition entry Macbeth, which sees him starring as Shakespeare’s Scottish rogue opposite Marion Cotillard. The two will reteam next year with Macbeth’s director Justin Kurzel for a film version of the video game Assassin’s Creed, which begins shooting in August. Plus there’s another Prometheus, another X-Men, and oh yeah, he also happens to be starring in a film this fall as one of the icons of the last century. Fassbender spoke to EW about the thrill of the fight.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It’s interesting to hear you say that the Western was something you wanted to tick off the list. Do you keep a list of fantasy roles?
MICHAEL FASSBENDER: In terms of my fantasy career, yeah. In this case I think it comes from the time when I was a boy and watching Westerns and being really engrossed in them. And at that young age thinking to myself how much I’d love to be in one.

You knew John Maclean, the writer-director of Slow West, from having starred in a couple of his short films. Did he come to you or did you go to him with the idea of a Western?
He came to me. We’d always been talking about genres, ever since we made [2009 short film] Man on a Motorcycle and realized how much we enjoyed working together and wanted to do it again. And by the time we got to [2011 short film] Pitch Black Heist, he started telling me about Slow West, which had been incubating in his mind. I clearly wanted to act in a feature film that he would direct. He’s so original in terms of his visual storytelling and I wanted to do whatever I could to help get that originality out there. He went off and wrote the script and we workshopped it a bit together.

And you took on a role as executive producer on the film. Were you involved in the decision to shoot in New Zealand? It gives the movie such a great otherworldly quality. Somehow in our brains we just know it’s not Colorado.
Yeah, I love that. We were looking for that special kind of fairy tale element within the Western that I always felt to be very interesting. In terms of New Zealand, we had connections down there with See-Saw Films and the New Zealand Film Commission. Plus, the fact that they’ve got amazing crews there. And again we were looking for landscapes that seemed untouched, and they’ve got a much smaller population than in the States. And it was John’s call, he really thought the setting would work to fulfill his vision. I think it worked out beautifully.

And I think it’s historic, too. The first film to use New Zealand to mimic the American frontier.
I believe so. I was talking to Wayne McCormack, who’s an amazing guy. He was the horse wrangler on the film. He was the one who told me that this was the first Western with New Zealand standing in for America. I hope it entourages more people to make Westerns in New Zealand. The crews are fantastic down there.

So you’re in Cannes for the premiere of Macbeth. A Shakespearean classic—was this another one that you wanted to tick off the list?
I wasn’t seeking out to do Shakespeare at the time, when [producer] Iain Canning approached me. But it was one of those things. You get the opportunity to do it and there was just no way I could have said no. So then I had the privilege of meeting the director Justin Kurtzel and we had an immediate chemistry. I knew right away that I believed in him and believed in his vision. And i could feel that excitement of going on a journey together, never knowing if it was going to work or not.

It sounds similar to how you describe your relationship with John Maclean, not to mention Steve McQueen.
Yes. Steve always says, “Let’s try and fail better next time.” The risk you might fall flat on your face is critical. I love the idea of being around new, fresh talent. With Justin, it’s such a treat to watch him work and say to yourself, “He’s doing exactly what he should be doing on this planet.” The expereince of working with him was exceptional. He put his heart and soul into it.

Have you seen Macbeth yet?
No, I’m going to be seeing it with everyone else at the premiere on Saturday night. I can tell you that Marion [Cotillard] as Lady Macbeth is incredible. I know that from being across from her during the scenes. She’s mesmerizing.

What’s the atmosphere like in Cannes right now?
Oh, it’s great. It’s such a celebration of film, everywhere you look. It’s a place of absolute passion for filmmaking. And of course it also happens to be incredibly glamorous and fun.

What can you tell me about the Steve Jobs biopic? There’s a teaser that everybody got excited about last week.
I got excited about it! I really loved the teaser. I feel very lucky to be a part of this movie at all. It’s exhilarating—again, for the opportunity to fall flat on my face, maybe. But it was nothing but a joy for me to be working with Aaron Sorkin, a genius, and Danny Boyle, such an inspirational person and a wonderful filmmaker.

And the biopic is another one to tick off your fantasy list. You’ve played real people before but Steve Jobs is huge.
Oh, man. Steve Jobs changed the way we live. It’s hard to comprehend just how integral he was in the way we live our lives now. Not only in terms of the phone but also retail. There were High Street stores closing down because of internet sales, and so he imagined stores with 30 people working on the floor, one-on-one with the customers. I was very glad that we were able to explore that. The movie will show how he changed the whole experience of retail as we know it.

Have you been able to see any movie so far in Cannes?
I just got in this morning, so nothing yet. But I can’t wait to see The Lobster and Carol and many, many others. It feels like this year has a lot of varied and very intriguing stuff. I’m going to try to catch everything I can while I’m here. And if I don’t catch them here, hopefully they’ll be released soon so I can pay for my ticket at the cinema.

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