Michael Fassbender is many things to many people. But to Daniel Radcliffe, who chooses parts by asking himself, “What would Michael Fassbender do?” he is an actual lifestyle choice.
Half German, half Irish, equal parts charm and menace, the 38-year-old has done the big ones (X-Men, Prometheus), the Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) and the awards darlings – most stunningly his impeccable troika with director Steve McQueen: Hunger (2008), Shame (2011) and 12 Years a Slave (2013).
This winter, though – the one of his content? – he will obliterate the milestone, with a double bill for the ages.
The first is Macbeth, Justin Kurzel’s astonishingly visceral Shakespeare adaptation that pits Fassbender against Marion Cotillard’s equally brilliant Lady Macbeth. Fassbender, frankly, smashes it. “Someone said it’s the role I was born to play, but that’s just hyperbole,” he says, even though it really isn’t.
The second is Steve Jobs, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Fassbender – in the kind of internalised performance awards voters adore – as the enigmatic Apple icon.
When we meet him, for a lunch during which the eyes of the entire room linger on him, he shrugs off the hype. “It’s just work,” he says. “As an actor you can become self-obsessed. But I don’t ever want to be imprisoned by that.” An attractive lady sashays over for an autograph. “See?” Fassbender laughs. “There are tougher gigs.”
Macbeth and Steve Jobs will both be released in Dubai this winter.