Michael Fassbender covers the June issue of GQ, and wow….he does not disappoint. It’s his first major cover of an American magazine from what I’ve read, and by the looks of it – it was worth the wait!
Here are some of the more interesting and titillating points from the interview:
He has a ping-pong table in his apartment, one that’s seen action:
In the middle of the room is a mini Ping-Pong table, borrowed from his British agent, who lives nearby. “Now that it’s here,” says Fassbender, “it’s not going. This table has been the best contribution for fun I’ve had in a long time. This table has seen some action…” He pauses, laughs. “That sounds wrong.”
But has it? I say, gently pushing.
“Just the paddles,” he deflects, and of course he then realizes that this sounds wrong, too, in exactly the same way.
On all the attention his penis got after ‘Shame’ came out:
“It’s fun to a point,” he says of these situations he has been facing, “and after a certain point you worry that it kind of detracts from the movie. But there’s nothing I can do. I just have to laugh it off. I can. Pretty much. Because I take my work seriously but I can’t take myself too seriously. I’m in such a crazy privileged position—shit, this is the pinnacle of the dream when I was 17…. Nobody wants to hear really how difficult it is.”
On not being nominated for an Oscar for ‘Shame’, and the peeing scene that left everyone talking:
“I know,” he says. Usually for movie pissing the liquid you see is actually coming from a hidden tube, but he was nude. For the first two takes, he wasn’t able to do anything, but he announced on-set before the third that it would happen, and it did. “Actually pretty proud,” he says. And then he laughs and says—more blurts out, really—”That peeing cost me an Oscar.”
He is not entirely serious. Nor will he endorse Steve McQueen’s slightly broader stated view: “In America they’re too scared of sex, that’s why he wasn’t nominated.” “I don’t know—I don’t think so,” says Fassbender. “Steve is a passionate man. There’s not much filtering with Steve, and I love him for that.” But he’s starkly honest in acknowledging that there was a concerted campaign to get him nominated—”They promised me paradise!” he blares—and how his expectations were raised.
“At the beginning people [say], ‘You’re going to be going to the Oscars,’ and you’re like, ‘Whatever, doesn’t matter, don’t think so.’ But after a while it does penetrate. After a while you’re like, ‘Anyway, so I’m going to the Oscars…’ ” He laughs. “And you start to believe it. And I did. I thought I was going. And then I found out I wasn’t and I was upset. I was very upset by it. The first reaction was ‘What the fuck…?’ ” He sounds frustrated that he had let himself get sucked in. “It’s a vanity thing. It does become important to you. And it shouldn’t.” On reflection, he decided that he had learned something about misplaced priorities. “A good little lesson.”
On dating his ‘Shame’ costar, Nicole Beharie :
During an earlier stop in New York, he was photographed walking the streets of SoHo hand in hand with his Shame co-star Nicole Beharie. Fassbender has tended to keep quiet about his romantic life, though not long ago he briefly reflected on the discovery that his new fame comes with “a buffet of choice.” After the photos of Beharie and him appeared, the global gossip media anointed her as his girlfriend.
In this instance their assumptions are accurate. “I’m seeing Nicole, we’re trying to see each other as often as possible,” he acknowledges. “That’s kind of difficult when she lives [in New York] and I live in England.” He says they got together during the film’s promotion. “Nothing happened while we were filming. We started talking more on the promotion thing. So, yeah, it just sort of unfolded like that.” Presumably that’s why he’s now back in New York for a couple of days, though he doesn’t say so.
Charlize Theron (who stars with him in ‘Prometheus’) opens up about Michael:
“The bottom line is, Michael Fassbender is probably the most talented actor that I’ve ever been around, and I think the most talented actor of this time right now…. I cannot talk about Shame because I sound like a fucking freak, but it’s a film that stayed with me for three weeks. His performance haunted me. I watched it twice, and when I look at the nuance, the delicacy, the tenderness, there was nothing heavy-handed about him. He knows what the balance is. He knows real life, he doesn’t know pretend life…. The bottom line is that he should have an Oscar on his mantel right now.”
Don’t forget to go here to read the full interview!