Michael Fassbender is an Irish actor of Irish and German parentage. He is perhaps best-known for having played Lieutenant Archie Hicox in the Quentin Tarantino war film Inglourious Basterds; and Magneto in the superhero film X-Men: First Class. He portrays the android David in Ridley Scott's Prometheus.
Alien franchise credit
- 300 (2007) - Stelios
- Hunger (2008) - Bobby Sands
- Inglourious Basterds (2009) - Lt. Archie Hicox
- Jonah Hex (2010) - Burke
- X-Men: First Class (2011) - Erik Lehnsherr
- Shame (2011) - Brandon Sullivan
Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany (now Germany). His mother is from Larne, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, and his father, Josef Fassbender, is German. According to Fassbender's "family lore", his mother is the great-great-niece of Michael Collins, an Irish leader during the War of Independence. When he was two years old, his parents moved to Killarney, County Kerry, in the Republic of Ireland, where they ran the West End House, a restaurant where his father worked as a chef. Fassbender was brought up as a Roman Catholic and served as an altar boy.
He attended St. Brendan's, Killarney (The Sem) and the Drama Centre in North London.
Fassbender first played the part of Burton "Pat" Christenson in Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's award-winning television miniseries Band of Brothers. He played the character of Azazeal in both series of Hex on Sky One and he also starred as the main character in the music video for the song "Blind Pilots", by the British band The Cooper Temple Clause. In the video, he plays the part of a man on a stag night with his friends, only to slowly transform into a goat due to wearing a cowbell necklace.
Fassbender played the part of Jonathan Harker in a ten-part radio serialization of Dracula produced by BBC Northern Ireland and broadcast in the Book at Bedtime series between 24 November and 5 December 2003. He was also seen in early 2004 in a Guinness television commercial, The Quarrel, playing a man who swims across the ocean from Ireland to apologize personally to his brother in New York.
During the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Fassbender played Michael Collins in Allegiance, a play by Mary Kenny based on the meeting between Winston Churchill and Collins, of whom Fassbender's mother is a great-niece. In addition, he produced, directed and starred in the stage version of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, along with his production company.
He appeared in Angel (UK title: The Real Life of Angel Deverell), about the rise and fall of an eccentric young British writer (played by Romola Garai) in the early 20th century. Fassbender plays her love interest and average painter Esmé. The drama – the first English-language effort by French director François Ozon and based on the novel by Elizabeth Taylor – premiered on 17 February 2007 at the Berlin International Film Festival and on 14 March 2007 in Paris. He then made a brief appearance in Wedding Belles as Barney, speaking with a Scottish accent.
In 2006, Fassbender played the role of Stelios, a young Spartan warrior, in 300, a fantasy action film directed by Zack Snyder. The film was a commercial success. His other credits include the drama film Fish Tank (2009); the romantic drama film Jane Eyre (2011); the historical film A Dangerous Method (2011), directed by David Cronenberg, in which he plays psychologist Carl Jung; as well as the biographical film Hunger (2008) and the drama film Shame (2011), both directed by Steve McQueen. For his role in Shame, he won the Volpi Cup best-actor award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival held in August 2011 along with being nominated for a Golden Globe Award.