Michael Fassbender, who stars as Magneto in “X-Men: First Class“, talked to NPR recently about why he decided to take on the role made famous by Sir Ian McKellen.
“I was looking to do a studio film,” he said. “What really intrigued me about this particular one was that you’re dealing with the villain, if you like, in the piece as somebody that’s very ambivalent and there’s a lot of complexity to him. And there is cause for his feelings and his actions. Whether or not you agree with them is another thing. That’s much more entertaining me for as an actor and much more entertaining for me as an audience member.”
He also talked about research, not only for Magneto, but on all his roles: “Well, for me, it’s always something that I will do. If there isn’t a biography available that’s my job to go away and write it. And what is great about this is there was just such a wealth of information. I mean, I was really spoiled.”
The actor had to adapt to special effects and embrace situations like stopping a nuclear missile in mid-flight. He says, “You just have to really kind of throw yourself into it and I say, you know, sort of unleash the sort of nine-year-old within and just enjoy it. You know, and if you don’t fully commit to these things then you really are going to have egg on your face, I think.”
Despite being in demand, Fassbender has chosen not to make the move to Hollywood, instead he remains a faithful Londoner. “I’m very happy there. I was at drama school, I had no money. It’s a super expensive place and, you know, a lonely place as well. You know, everybody’s sort of in their routine and going about their business. But, you know, I’ve come to love it.”
“There’s nothing against Hollywood or Los Angeles but for me I just don’t find that I feel very creative there or get inspired.” He adds, “A lot of the time is spent in the car and I like to walk, you know, in the streets among people. And also the idea of any town, you know, revolving around one industry, I’m not so sure. It’s like going to a dinner party every night where everybody’s, like, a lawyer or everybody’s an accountant or everybody’s an actor. After a while, you know, you kind of get sick of talking about the same stuff.”