People who know cinema at all understand that Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors around, but for whatever reason I still always meet people that have not heard the name before. Why? The obvious reason being he is choosy, save for the atrocity of “Jonah Hex” a few years back, his filmography is otherwise flawless. He has demonstrated range that would make Phillip Seymour Hoffman proud, without the doughy limitations to leading roles he could take on.
We have seen him as a young “James Bond with telekinetic powers and a revenge addiction” Magneto. A deeply wounded sex addict with no chance of redemption. An over-the-top moralist in the midst of starving himself. As Carl Jung. A fastidious android with capacity for great curiosity outweighing his care of th humans he works for. A labor worker with a seemingl kind interest in his girlfriend’s daughter that turns out to be the creepy “I actually just want to fuck you,” type. And less we forget his scene-stealing, Hollywood-arrival in “Inglorious Bastards,” Fassbender seemingly has no limit to the types of characters he dives into.
The condition being that the movies do no suck. Let’s face it, the guy has been on the cover of GQ three times now (and they have now three times in a row gotten him to say just about nothing, secretive dude that he is), he is one of the best-looking guys in entertainment. He could be making a fortune taking roles in cheesy rom-coms as a mysterious handsome bad boy type. But he has taste. He looks at the scripts, the players involved and think about how he could dive into his role and making it better.
He does seem to have something a little extra going on, as far as the alluring mystique goes. In interviews, he is evasive but always polite and charming. When suggested by a GQ reporter last month that he might be a womanizer, Fassbender responded, “I don’t think I like this line of questioning.” Effectively dogging the statement without being rude to the reporter. That is the type of guy that could potentially have a very long career in Hollywood.
And though he is picky, he is most definitely not snobby. He played Magneto in “X Men: First Class” and rather than diving headlong into camp, it is clear Fassbender took the film seriously bringing out both the humanity and the hatred in young Magneto. No one can forget that scene where we see him in a hotel room floating some coins over his fingers and planning out his Nazi killing spree, an expression of contained rage about to explode.
And less we forget that just over a year ago he was the only thing about Prometheus worth watching. Though I admit the first time I saw the film in a 3D Imax I was fairly stunned, repeat viewings have done nothing but reveal the idiocy of the script. That is, except Fassbender. Taking the android David into a performance so physically mesmerizing that among 3D artfully rendered alien beings it is Fassbender swallowing up every scene.
With “12 Years a Slave” and “The Counselor” both garnering huge amounts of acclaim for Fassy (and a potential Oscar nom for “12 Tears) there seems to be little doubt to the claims Fassbender heads have been making for some years now. The best actor in Hollywood.