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Actor Affinity: Michael Fassbender

With a continually rising profile, Michael Fassbender is quickly emerging as a future star. Born in Germany and raised in Ireland, this German-Irish actor has learned his trade in London and has been working his way upward, enough so to at least earn him a spotlight in Actor Affinity. You might recognize Fassbender from supporting roles in 300 and Inglorious Bastards and he's reportedly in talks to star as a young Magneto in X-Men: First Class, which arrives next summer.

Soon after Fassbender graduated from the Drama Centre London he successfully auditioned for the role of Sgt. Burton "Pat" Christenson in Band of Brothers and starred in seven episodes of that excellent series. He quickly found work on British television, with recurring roles and guest appearances in many programs such as Murphy’s Law, Trial and Retribution and Hex. He seemed to have a steady career on his hands.

Fassbender performed in his first Hollywood film in 2006, the 2007 extraordinarily entertaining hit 300. He played Stelios, a young soldier with a famous line "we will fight in the shade." He was assured in his supporting role, with excellent banner alongside Tom Wisdom as Astinos -- and he knew how to deliver a one-liner. 

Following 300, his career quickly excelled. He played IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in the Caméra d'Or award-winning film, Hunger. He gives a powerful performance as a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for his beliefs. With Steve McQueen’s direction, Hunger was a raw and powerful film and Fassbender's performance was reminiscent to a stage actor. This film showed Fassbender’s true talent and accordingly he was nominated and won a number of acting awards, including the British Independent Film Award for Best Actor.

Fassbender’s career continued in Britain, with major roles in the horror film Eden Lake, the excellent mini-series The Devil’s Whore and Festival favorite Fish Tank.

Hollywood came calling again and Fassbender auditioned for Quentin Tarrantino’s Inglorious Bastards. He did not get the role of Hans Landa which he wanted to audition for, of (it of course went to Christoph Waltz who won an Oscar for it), but with a dry read, Fassbender got the supporting role of Lt. Hicox, where he once again shows his acting ability and more importantly his bilingual skills, being fluent in German.

In 2010 Fassbender has continued to mix having leading roles in British films such as Neil Marshall’s Roman adventure Centurion and supporting roles in Hollywood flicks, as a psychopathic assassin in the just-released Jonah Hex.

His filmography is already impressive, with a strong mix of indie dramas and top-end Hollywood movies. He is skilled in accents and languages, can do comedy and drama effectively. He is already seen as a potential star.

The future is very bright for Fassbender. He is starring in a new adaptation of Jane Eyre with Alice in Wonderland star Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell and Dame Judi Dench and also has a role in Steven Soderberg’s Haywire with Ewan McGregor and Channing Tatum.

Fassbender has appeared to have won his first leading role in a Hollywood film, having been offered the part of the super-villain Magneto in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. This was a role that Sir Ian McKellen made his own in the original trilogy, but Fassbender has the talent and Vaughn’s previous films are littered with brilliant casting choices. It just takes one role to make someone a true star. Fassbender would get perform opposite James McAvoy, who will be playing Charles Xavier.

With rumors circling that Daniel Craig may quit as James Bond because of MGM’s financial crisis -- British bookmakers William Hill have placed odds for his replacement. There are good choices like Christian Bale at 7:1, poor choices like Sam Worthington as the favorite at 5:2 and the bizarre: Will Smith at 7:1. When the subject was brought up in a blog on Empire’s website, Fassbender was the clear fan’s choice in admittedly an unscientific poll of opinions.

Fassbender has the acting talent, the looks, the physical build, bilingual (which is a useful skill for a spy) and at 33, the right age to play Bond any time in the next 10 years. It was the role that made Craig into a star and it could do the same for Fassbender if it ever should happen.


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