Michael Fassbender, who will appear in both “The Counselor” and “12 Years a Slave” in the next couple of weeks, is on the cover (photo by Peggy Sirota /GQ) of the November issue of GQ.
It will be on newsstands Oct. 22 but the magazine provided a sneak peek at what he had to say to Zach Baron:
Michael Fassbender on his dating history and being selfish:
“I’m kind of selfish with the hours that I put into the work,” Fassbender says. He was selfish even then, when there wasn’t much work to be had, and still is now at age 36, when he’s among the most in-demand actors in his entire industry. We talk about the toll this selfishness might take on a person’s life, on one’s ability to do right by friends, family, partners.
Does that selfishness extend to women, too? Since you started acting, what’s the longest you’ve dated someone?
He’s not sure he likes this line of questioning. (“I’m not sure I like this line of questioning,” he says.) But then: “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.”
…on not campaigning for or attending the Oscars this year:
“That’s just not going to happen, because I’ll be in New Zealand. I’ll be on the other side of the world. You know, I get it. Everybody’s got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won’t put myself through that kind of situation again.”
He goes on a bit about the process of campaigning for one of these things. “It’s just a grind. And I’m not a politician. I’m an actor.”
On meeting women:
“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.’ ”
“Let me put it to you this way, right? A lot of comedians are dark personalities, but they’re making people laugh. So, you know, it can flip the other way. People that are playing dark roles can actually be quite light. It doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand. I think sometimes maybe people that are lighter can access that darkness easier, whereas people that are dark don’t like to access it.
“It’s too much maybe part of them that they don’t want to reveal. I know that I’ve got darkness, but for the most part I try and smile as much as I can, you know? I mean, David Cronenberg said it annoyed him that I used to come to work happy all the time.”
Fassbender, who still lives in the same East London bachelor apartment he’s had since his 20s, decided at age 17 he was going to be an actor. He had plenty of jobs and strike-outs before hitting it big: barman, an unsuccessful audition for Ben Affleck’s part in “Pearl Harbor” (“Disney sent me a really nice note!”), unloading boxes off trucks, doing market research for Dell and the UK’s postal service, the Royal Mail. He would follow up on complaints but had to keep calls to 10 minutes or less, which forced him to “hang up on these, like lovely old people.”