MICHAEL Fassbender is trying not to listen to all the people who are tipping him for an Academy Award for his amazing performance in “12 Years a Slave.”
Two years ago the Irishman, who plays a slave owner in the film, was similarly predicted to win the Oscar for his role as a sex addict in “Shame”.
But that ended up disappointingly and the Kerry man admits: “You listen to the Oscar noise because people are saying it often enough.”
Filmmaker Steve McQueen, who has directed Fassbender in three films: 2008’s “Hunger,” 2011’s “Shame” and this year’s “Slave” is in no danger of becoming a big head.
Says McQueen: “Michael speaks to the guy sweeping the street the same as he does to movie executives.
“He’s a humble person from a great family,” says “He’s so far removed from the characters he plays. In terms of acting, the comparison I would make is to (Marlon) Brando.
“There’s a femininity to him and a gentleness and a masculinity that is not offensive or removed. He can draw people in to his characters.”
Explaining why he picks such unsympathetic roles, Fassbender, 36, says: “I’ve always tried to pick things that affected me.”
Of his character Edwin Epps in “12 Years a Slave”, he says: “Epps is horrendous, but he’s also kind of a victim.
“I use my gut feeling when picking a role. ‘Hunger’ totally changed everything for me.
“I was 30 years old and trying to get a lead role. It was very difficult. I was not on any list, and there is a list.”