You could say Michael Fassbender was a late bloomer, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. The 36-year-old, ginger-haired, rough-around-the-edges Irishman may have only leapt into stardom in the last few years, but he decided to become an actor at 17, Fassbender told GQ magazine in a recent interview. And he did what he could to work his way up. This took the form of endless auditions interspersed with bartending stints, postal delivery, television gigs and then his first role in a major film — “300” — in 2006.
Now launched into the public’s eye, Fassbender is a hot item, in more ways than one. Professionally, he has three films currently in post-production, another two in pre-production, and three more recently announced. All that on the coattails of the soon-to-be released film “The Counselor,” written by Cormac McCarthy and directed by Ridley Scott. Yeah, Michael Fassbender is kind of a big deal these days.
But outside of work, Fassbender is also the sexiest man alive, according to some people, and that is no small title to wear. On the subject of women, though, the “12 Years A Slave” actor is remarkably shy. “I’m kind of selfish with the hours that I put into the work,” he told Zach Baron of GQ, who then cheekily asked if this selfishness extends to relationships. “I’m not sure I like this line of questioning,” Fassbender replied. “I think the longest relationship that I’ve been in was two years. I started doing this when I was 17, so I guess in my dating, adult life, that kind of covers it.”
But a man who has so deftly played roles that exude such raw sexuality and passion would surely know a thing or two about romance. In a 2011 interview with Vulture, Fassbender draws a clear line between simulated sex in films and real sexuality. “All joking aside, [simulating sex is] really uncomfortable. It is kind of a stressful thing, to be honest.”
How does he mitigate the discomfort? Just as anyone would approach real sex. “You have to say [to your scene partner], ‘What lines do you have that you don’t want me to cross? Do you mind if I touch your breasts? Do you not want me to do that? Can I kiss your breasts? Just so you know, I’m not taking advantage here and taking the piss out of this scenario. You let me know what boundaries you’re comfortable working within.'”
If Fassbender approaches his onscreen relationships with such a degree of sensitivity and humility, it’s only natural to assume he might be the same in his personal relationships. But if he is, it appears few women have had the pleasure of experiencing it. According to Fassbender, he was hardly an object of interest before becoming a celebrity. Speaking on the changes he’s observed since becoming famous, Fassbender said:
“I make a lot more friends, you know what I mean? You become a lot more successful in terms of, like, talking to a girl. She’s all of a sudden more interested in me. I know that, like, three years ago, she would’ve walked away after two sentences left my mouth. I remember I was sitting at this table at this thing, and I was talking to this girl. I was like, ‘God, I am so boring right now.’ But she was like, ‘That’s so interesting!’ I was like, ‘You know what? Five years ago, this would not have been interesting.'”
It’s sad to think such a talented (and, ahem, good-looking) guy would have been passed over, only becoming desired in light of fame. But just as it took Fassbender some time to come into his own as an actor, there’s no reason to believe he won’t find true love someday, too.