Comic-Con Over Cannes
He'd take Comic-Con over the Cannes Film Festival any day of the week. Fassy first attended Comic-Con in 2010 to chat about, um, Jonah Hex . Despite that film's shortcomings, he fully embraced the geekdom.
"I loved it, because these are the guys who are diehard fans - so passionate about film and whatever sort of genre it comes from, comic books essentially.
But you get the feeling that they’re all well-read and well-versed in all sorts of things.
"And it’s a rush when you go into an auditorium and there are 600 to 800 of these die-hard fans all together and enthusiastic. It’s really cool to give something back to them if you can and they’re all so gracious as well. And Cannes is just this glamorous fanfare. Again, a fantastic experience, but there’s more exclusivity to it."
His first feature film was 300 , which was notable not only for its stunning (and bloody) visuals, but also for its proliferation of six-packs, making it perhaps the most homoerotic fight flick ever made.
Fassbender underwent a gruelling training regime to get in shape for the film, training for 10 weeks, five days a week, four hours a day. "But that's fun," he told The Times in 2011. "You get the best people training you and you get paid to look good and feel strong."
Filming a torture scene for hoodie horror Eden Lake required Fassbender to sit in freezing mud for three days - not that he complained.
"He’s a very committed actor," says director James Watkins. "Michael’s so passionate and incredibly generous. There was one torture scene that required him to sit for three days in the mud. I mean, we had to go and shoot it from all the angles and it took ages.
"But even when he was off camera he was performing and giving the kids (some of whom had no acting experience) the intensity they could feed from. He’s a lovely man and very unselfish."
He's been long-linked to Bond, but he's not sitting around waiting for Daniel Craig to retire.
"I really don’t plan anything ever because it never seems to work," Fassbender says. "I’m just [ like ] – let’s just get this film out and see how this one does. And, you know, Daniel [ Craig ] is doing a great job. We’ll see what happens. I’m very flattered that people are sort of making that link, but – I don’t know. We’ll see."
Fingers crossed he's next in line for the double-O.
Remember what we said about being fearless? Fassbender was adamant that he wanted to tackle one of the most outrageous stunts in historical epic Centurion . The stunt involved jumping from a high gorge into dark, rushing water.
"He's up for anything, you know?" said director Neil Marshall. "Whether it's jumping into an icy, cold river or getting on a horse and riding at high speed. I'm sure if I'd said yes he would have jumped off the cliff into the river, but somebody had to hold him back and say, 'No, no, no, let's not get carried away here!'"
In the end, the stunt was performed by professional stunt workers instead…
Fassbender was one of the best things about the otherwise woeful Jonah Hex , mostly because he was as diligent as ever in creating his character, the psychotic right-hand man to John Malkovich.
Drawing on other movie villains before him, Fassbender based his character on sociopaths like Alex in A Clockwork Orange and Batman baddie The Riddler.
"I thought I’m going to … do Clockwork Orange meets Frank Gorshin,1970s Riddler with a Carrey accent," Fassbender recalls.
"Then the guys at prosthetics created this kind of tattoo thing that started at my face and went all the way down my torso and arms. It’s like the people around you that are doing these things, do the work for you. It began a really fun sort of character."
Michael was so dedicated to playing Erik Lensherr aka Magneto in X-Men: First Class that he actually studied Ian McKellen's portrayal of the character in the previous X-Men films in order to give a realistic continuity.
"You want to respect what someone else has done, especially because the fan base really liked what Ian has done with it," he says.
"But while I could have gone and studied him as a young man and brought that to the performance, I don't think Matthew [ Vaughn, director ] is very interested in that. So I'm just going my own way and working with whatever is in the comic books and the script."
Could Fassbender be the man to break the so-called videogame movie curse? That's what everybody's hoping for with his movie adaptation of Assassin's Creed , in which Fass will play Desmond Miles, who goes back in time to collect mystical artefacts.
"That’s definitely happening," he said in October 2013. "We’re just developing the script at the moment. I’d heard of it but had never played the game. I don’t have a video game player … that’s not what they’re called. [ Laughs ]
"I met up with the guys from Ubisoft and they told me the story behind it, and I thought it was very interesting - the idea of reliving memories." The film's due in 2015.
Fassbender was famously (and outrageously) snubbed by the Academy Awards for his performance in Shame ('Did Fassbender's Big Part Cost Him A Nom?' asked the Los Angeles Times ), but he's not that fussed.
With renewed Oscar buzz building around his role as an evil plantation owner in 12 Years A Slave , Fassy's concentrating on the work instead of the awards. "There's nothing I can really do. Sit at home and think about winning a statue? Or being nominated for a statue? This is the film. This is what it is."
Flavour Of The Month
So Fassy's hot stuff at the moment, but he's level-headed about the whole fame business.
"I don't know what's going to happen," he says about his future in the film industry. "I'm flavour of the month at the moment, but somebody else is going to roll around the corner in three months' time. I just want to keep working. I can't stop!"
Hopefully he won't stop for a long, long time.