Michael Fassbender, comedy guy?
After a huge 2011 and a hot start to 2012, Michael Fassbender is on a down beat, with nothing coming out for months and nothing to do but work and I don’t know…throw rocks at fish, or whatever he does for fun. (And please don’t email me to explain what The Fassbender gets up to on his down time—I like not knowing.) But 2013 is shaping up to be another big year, with two projects already in various stages of production—Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor—and another penciled in, the just-announced Frank, an Irish comedy. (I LOVE Irish comedies. Waking Ned Devine is and always will be one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. The Irish comedic sensibility is stellar.) Frank is about rock musicians; Fassbender will star as the titular Frank, a “mysterious” musician and Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley!) is co-starring as the young wannabe who gets sucked into Frank’s wake.
Michael Fassbender…comedy guy? The prospect scares me a little. I mean, what if he isn’t good at it? Fassbender is the kind of actor who’s naturally good at nearly everything. Action? Sure. Drama, of course. He can be sexy, he can be menacing, he can be vulnerable. But comedy? I don’t have any reason to think Fassbender won’t be good at it, but just…what if he isn’t? Right now Michael Fassbender is a terrifyingly good actor who has yet to turn in a bad performance. I really don’t want his first misstep since breaking out in 2008 to be on a comedy. Unless Assassin’s Creed comes through first and he falls victim to the video game curse. The Fassbender is taking on some high-risk projects, that’s for sure.
The thing is, for actors who work mostly in drama, comedy looks easy. They compare the emotional toll a serious role can take on them and think that making people laugh must be so much easier than subjecting their psyche to whatever it is they’ve just gone through (I can’t imagine prepping for a serial killer role is any fun at all). But comedy is hard too. It’s all timing and delivery and a willingness to look stupid—a trait most actors are not known for possessing. There’s a reason the best comedic actors are usually not great dramatic actors as well. And on the flipside, great dramatic actors are often not really good at comedy. And now The Fassbender is going to try to bridge the gap. Finger’s crossed.
Attached - Fassbender working on The Counselor in London today.