The popcorn may have been stale, but the gummy bears and Aquafina were flowing last night at TIFF Soirée—a fundraiser for film programmes and a kick-off to the festival—where Michael Fassbender was the guest of honour. Wearing a bright blue Gucci suit and sporting a ginger beard, Fassy took to the stage in Cinema 1 of the Bell Lightbox to do an on-stage chat with Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s Artistic Director about his career. Here are five things we learned about the dreamy thespian.
He loves a good nap.
Though he plays young Magneto in the X-Men movies—and wears the shit out of grey sweats while doing so—Fassbender says his real super hero power is powernapping, which he often does when he has breaks while filming. “I could just lie down on this stage, if it goes that way.”
Director Steve McQueen hated Fassbender the first time they met.
“I think he said I was arrogant? I don’t understand. I guess maybe I was a little defensive. I hadn’t been working a lot. I thought I came across well but that just goes to show how much I know,” he said. He won the part of Irish nationalist Bobby Sands in Hunger and went on to collaborate with McQueen two more times, in Shame (hellooooo, full frontal!) and 12 Years a Slave.
He would do a full-on comedy and has spoken to Seth Rogen about it.
Fassbender is a fan of Rogen’s work and met him when he threw a blueberry at the comedian at a dinner. He then did an impersonation of Rogen during their time together on Steve Jobs who said, “I thought we’d work together at some point but thought it would be on one of my movies.” Perhaps Pineapple Express 2?
He toggles between two methods to get to an emotional place where he needs to cry for a scene.
He either tries to remember something sad or traumatic and re-live it or just relaxes physically and mentally and focuses. “You exercise that muscle over many years and go into that state, and it becomes a trigger. So sometimes I just need to say a sentence to myself that would trigger it. I pray to relatives that are dead and I ask them to look out for me if I’m going into a scene like that. You hope that you’ll get to that place truthfully because it’s horrible to pretend cry.”
The toughest role he’s done to date is Steve Jobs.
When the dense, mountainous script arrived, he felt that the role was not for him (he says he’s a slow at learning lines), but signed on after encouragement from his agent and his father. Still, he tried to get out of it in the rehearsal stages. “I would tell my driver, ‘If I put my arm in the door and slam it, it should cause a break and it should get me out of this gig.’” But with mockneck and dad jeans on, he persevered and landed an Oscar nom.
The chat was followed by a cocktail party upstairs at Malaparte, where Fassbender popped in and was escorted around to all the VIP sponsor areas such Mundy Marketing Group, Chinawest Filmmakers Alliance and Superfan Nav Bhatia for introductions and photo opps. While mini burgers, oysters and cups of french fries were doled out, we patiently waited for our moment to embarrass ourselves and ask for a photo, but it was not be. Fassy bailed by 9:30PM. Shame.
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