The darkness, the hypnotic eyes, the vulnerability… SOPHIE HEAWOOD explains why we can’t get enough of Michael Fassbender
Why we’re all in love with Michael Fassbender
SOMETIMES YOU WANT a man who buys you owers and takes you dancing. At other times you long for a man who’ll be good with the kids and not moan about wrestling a roof rack on to the car. And sometimes, just sometimes, you feel the insatiable desire for a man who’ll look you in the eyes with a demonic glare and lead you slowly up a mountain in a thunderstorm to sacri ce wild animals and do something so lthy to each other’s dark places that it cannot be printed here.
Erm, excuse me a minute, sorry – it’s just that I recently saw Macbeth, the latest lm starring Michael Fassbender that got four-star reviews, and now I want this all the time. Oh God, help. The man is a simmering beast of fury and legend, and every woman I know wants to have sex with him, as do several of my male friends. In fact, we have decided that all men should be more Fassbender, as this is clearly the next stage in evolution for humankind.
If you don’t know who he is, then this is exciting for you, because the pleasure and the darkness are all to come. Fassbender is a 38-year-old actor who began the 21st century in TV dramas and is now a huge movie star. He’s the guy who is in everything, with his steely containment, his stare. The cruel slave master in 12 Years A Slave (for which he was nominated for an Oscar); the compulsive sex addict at the heart of Shame; the soldier picked by Churchill to spy on the Germans in Inglourious Basterds; Rochester in Jane Eyre; Steve Jobs in the recent biopic (again Oscar nominated); something equally distressingly strong in X-Men, and I don’t even like the X-Men lms. Oh, Fassy.
The time has come to forget Clooney suaveness – that was all a bit 2007.The Beckham nice guy/sporting dad vibes have been done to death,and the Cumberbatch geeky thing only inspires me to want a really good conversation with the chap. The current hot crush is Fassbender, who has nothing boyish about him. A rock, but also a river, who contains something dark and mysterious inside him. So what is it?
I did a poll of my friends to nd out why they fancy him, and the results were so incriminating, I’ve had to remove their names, as they are all married. Let’s take Friend A, who lives near Fassy’s house. This friend used to see him in the park, where he was a regular. ‘I basically trained my dog to drop his ball between Fassy’s feet while he was working out,’ she admits. Friend B says ‘I can’t explain what it is, but I really could stare at that man all day. Those eyes should look shifty, but they’re hypnotic. Like when he plays Rochester, with all that repressed passion on the moors, the long, lingering looks and the eyes that reduce me to a gibbering idiot every time I watch it. Oh boy. I think I need a lie-down.’
And then there’s his penis. I’m sorry to spell it out like that, but it’s a big part of things. It was the rst penis my daughter ever saw, as we walked in late to the moms and babies screening of Shame at our local cinema (it’s a very enlightened cinema) – there it was, sky high, close up on the screen, as we entered. I couldn’t help but stare, with my few-month-old also trying her best to focus on the thing. If she ends up attracted to men like him – or simply with unrealistic expectations of si e – I shall have only myself to blame. In that lm, he played a sex addict with a tenderness and complexity that seemed to lock in one level behind the character’s self-obsession. His compassion towards his messed-up sister, played by Carey Mulligan, also felt complicated and real.
And in Macbeth, there is a scene where – I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but this happens pretty early on, so it’s not going to ruin anything – Lady Macbeth (played by Marion Cotillard) and her husband (Fassbender) plot a murder while they are having sex. Standing up. In the back room of a feast. He’s thrusting stealthily into her while agreeing to betray King Duncan in his sleep. It’s one of the most arresting things I’ve seen on screen for some time. In another scene, he’s standing on the battled, stained in blood and mud and surrounded by rotting corpses, recently visited by witches and the stench of death, and you’re looking at him, thinking what power Shakespeare can bring to the big screen. All right, you’re looking at him thinking, ‘Yeah, I would.’
Why do we feel this way? Because he’s a man, not a boy racer, not a kidult, not an action hero. He’s muscular, damaged, confident, not traditionally attractive. He’s not particularly tall and he isn’t well dressed in the paparazzi shots you see of his everyday life, walking down the street. But he manages to contain both an agonising vulnerability and an almost scary alpha-male thing at the same time, which is mesmerising to watch. And then there’s his chopper. mc Macbeth is out on 8 April.