Michael Fassbender's Personality Pivot at TIFF Soiree
Michael Fassbender admits he "gets off" on watching his movies for the first time with an audience, and adds that the adrenaline rush is contagious:
What turns Michael Fassbender on? Waiting to see his movies for the 1st time w/ an audience. "I get off on it. I get high from it" #TIFF16— Jada Yuan (@jadabird) September 7, 2016
"I get high from it."
While he reportedly gave a similar quote after the Shame premiere at TIFF in 2011, last night, he was opening up in a different way. Michael was the guest of honour at the TIFF Soiree fundraiser in Toronto last night, and after stopping for a select few outlets on the red carpet, he sat down with the festival's artistic director Cameron Bailey to talk about acting, and what makes him tick. This will not be Michael's last sighting at TIFF this year, as his film, Trespass Against Us, premieres on Friday.
Talk about his girlfriend and The Light Between Oceans co-star Alicia Vikander appeared to be off the table, though he spoke highly of the Venice Film Festival, where the two made their red carpet debut last week. But what he did share was quite interesting. Aside from the typical training talk— and his love for Hunger and three-time collaborator Steve McQueen - Michael made light of his performances in the X-Men franchise, and said he's not too keen on his portrayal of Magneto (though he was incredible in X-Men: First Class).
Michael's speaking in jest, though he's not turning his back on the character and says "doing films like X-Men allow me to make other films and other films to be made."
He has respect for the blockbuster, too, noting that they require extra patience than smaller films. Plus, he knows a good paycheck and good PR opportunity when he sees one. After his chat with Cameron, Michael told an attendee to check out Assassin's Creed later this year. Not, say, The Light Between Oceans, which is in theatres now and which Deadline reports needs a box office boost to become more of an awards season contender. For someone who’s largely avoided the press machine, Michael has evidently decided where the hype should go, and how he should strategically spread his love while looking ahead to what's next and what's bigger, even in a more intimate encounter. (By the way, he’s a producer on Assassin’s Creed.)
Natalie Portman was feted at the same retrospective event this time last year. As I wrote then, she seized the opportunity to show off her lighter side, and her humility. Michael seems to be doing the same. Natalie revealed herself to be a big Broad City fan and a proud Garden State apologist (just like us!!!), while Michael joked about his most high-profile franchise. Oh, and he wants to be in the next Seth Rogen movie.
If Ed Norton can chew scenery in Sausage Party, why not Michael? Besides, especially after seeing them at the NYFF premiere of Steve Jobs together, Seth and Michael seem to be close, and have a bond that goes beyond their performances.
This event, then, is the place for a career chat, and also for a career pivot, at least in part. Michael's an actor who appears to take himself and his roles too seriously... not that there's anything wrong with that. But, as always, it's refreshing to see his self-effacing side once again.
As for what Magneto's real superpower is? Well...
Walter McBride/ Matt Winkelmeyer/ GP Images/ Getty Images