A NEW GARMENT is about to join Columbo’s mac, Dick Tracy’s yellow trench and Bergerac’s leather jacket in the pantheon of screen-detective accoutrements. The green parka worn by Michael Fassbender’s driven Oslo ’tec Harry Hole in The
Snowman may soon be just as recognisable, the kind of statement made by a man too busy solving murders to fret about fashion. “An iconic outfit is important for these things,” says Fassbender. “Will it become ubiquitous? I hope so. I have different jumpers, but they’re the only things that’ll change.”
The creation of Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø, Harry Hole has starred in ten different novels, with another on the way. Number seven, 2007’s The Snowman, is the first to get a movie adaptation, bringing the offbeat gumshoe (his favourite band: Slipknot) to a whole new audience. “A lot of times when you have these characters, they’re almost bulletproof,” Fassbender continues, “but Harry seems like a real human being. He’s got a lot of flaws.”
On the trail of Norway’s first serial killer and confronted at each crime scene by a macabre snowman, Hole has his work cut out. So, too, did Fassbender in realising the character, right down to the contents of his jacket pockets. “He’s written so well in the books,” he says of Nesbø’s punchy prose. “He loves his job and he hates it.” And in those pockets? Ciggies, lighter, police badge, sweets and a black notebook. “They’re big pockets,” laughs the star.