To say Michael Fassbender has had a big and busy 2011 is like saying Herman Cain had an unsuccessful campaign run. It’s a massive understatement. In 20 months he shot six films – “Jane Eyre,” “X-Men: First Class,” “A Dangerous Method,” “Shame,” “Prometheus” and Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming action thriller “Haywire," the film for which he’s currently doing press rounds.
But while it looked like a busy 2011, it was actually 2010 that was a blur, with his calendar starting to settle down a little bit midway this year. “Well, last year was kind of busier,” Fassbender told us, sounding relieved over the phone in Los Angeles. “This year everything is just coming out. So up until July I was working flat out; I haven’t been working since July.”
Fassbender said since then he’s been doing loads of press and relaxing when he can and just trying to take stock. As for his rumored participation in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” a project that Christian Bale was supposed to star in, but dropped out, Fassbender was a tight-lipped vault. Asked if that was going to be his next picture – it’s rumored to shoot in March 2012 – he said, simply, "I don't know." Pressed to discuss the project or if he had met with Aronofsky, all he would allow was "I'm not at liberty to say."
What the Irish/German actor would consent to is discussing what as of right now will be his first official film of 2012, a reunion with his “Shame” director Steven McQueen in the picture “12 Years A Slave," starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt (who he briefly co-starred with in “Inglourious Basterds”). “That’s the next job, that’s the only one I’ve got booked in for next year, working with Steve,” he said. “I think it’s going to [shoot] in the early summer.”
As for the interim period, he said, “Unless something comes up that inspires me, that’s it for now.” (We’ll let Aronofsky conspiracy theorists editorialize on that one). What Fassbender really hopes to do in his quote unquote downtime is develop his own projects.
“I just like telling stories. I’m working on my own stuff and I’m really trying to invest time in that,” he said. “I’m working with various writers and filmmakers, one guy [ex-Beta Band member turned filmmaker] John Maclean that I’ve done two short films with already (“Man on a Motorcycle,” and “Pitch Black Heist,” the latter of which Fassbender exec-produced) and we’re working on a feature script at the moment. So I’m focusing my energy into that until something really excites me, you know?”
Loud and clear, Fassy. “Haywire” hits theaters on January 20, 2012. More from this interview soon.
— Interview by RP