Michael Fassbender Reveals How He Prepares for Every Acting Role

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Michael Fassbender reveals how he prepares and draws inspiration for each acting role.

Michael Fassbender’s acting career has skyrocketed in the last ten years.

He first came to fame for his biographical role as IRA activist Bobby Sands in the historical drama Hunger (2008), for which he won a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor. He would later work alongside Brad Pitt in Inglorious Bastards, play a robot on Prometheus, and play Magneto on X-Men: First Class.

Michael Fassbender, whose new movie Steve Jobs and Macbeth are getting ready to premiere in theaters nationwide, recently revealed how he found inspiration for an audition, how he prepares for each and every role, and what kind of job he worked before becoming a working actor

Here is what the 38-year-old Macbeth actor had to share with The New York Times Style magazine’s latest issue:

Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

On how he drew inspiration for one of his first auditions: “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… 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.”


On how he prepares for each and every acting role: “I go over the words again and again and again and again. Hundreds of times. It’s more of a doing than a thinking thing. I have thoughts about the characters, I learn about them, but that’s not necessarily where the majority of the work gets done.”

On working as a bartender before an actor: “I enjoyed the bar. But, god, I really, really, really wanted to act.”


For more from Michael Fassbender, visit NYTimes.com.

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