Michael Fassbender is most definitely the man of the hour. He’s probably one of the most well-known and talented actors in the business today. The man’s career is on fire. This year, he’s already been in two films 12 Years a Slave and The Counselor and he’s also got a slew of projects lined up for the next few years.  

Hailing from a half Irish, half German background, he speaks fluent English and German and was raised in Ireland. Fassbender is an actor everyone is in awe of. He’s always taking on roles that challenge him and he completely embodies his characters. It’s what makes him such a resilient and outstanding actor. 

He was first introduced to American audiences in the highly acclaimed HBO TV series Band of Brothers, where he played Sergeant Burton Christenson. A few years later, he was seen in the period action film, 300, which is highly quoted. “Tonight we dine in hell!” being famous among them. 

A major breakthrough role came for Fassbender in 2008 in Steve McQueen’s Hunger. In the film, he plays Irish republican Bobby Sands and leads his inmates on a hunger strike. The movie was based on a true story and Fassbender’s performance was highly praised, as are several movies he’s been in over the years. 

One of Fassbender’s big breaks came when he portrayed Lieutenant Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino’s award-winning Inglourious Basterds. Fassbender got the chance to speak both English and German in the film and was the first of three films in which he appears alongside Brad Pitt. 

The years after brought Fassbender leading roles in Jonah Hex and Jane Eyre. In 2011, Fassbender joined the impressive cast of X-Men: First Class that included James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kevin Bacon. Fassbender played the popular Erik Lensherr, AKA Magneto, in a prequel to the X-Men films. It’s one of his most popular and memorable performances to date simply because of Fassbender’s spot-on portrayal of Lensherr’s origins prior to becoming Magneto. 

Later that year came A Dangerous Method with Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen and the actor’s second team up with director Steve McQueen in Shame. Fassbender plays Brandon, a man addicted to sex and pornography yet tries to live what society deems an average life. Audiences and critics alike generally agreed that Fassbender should not have been overlooked during Oscars season. 

After 2012’s Prometheus, which received mixed reviews, came Fassbender’s roles in Oscar hopefuls 12 Years a Slave, Fassbender’s third film with McQueen, and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, both films bringing him together once more with Brad Pitt. 

Sequels to Prometheus and X-Men: First Class are coming up. The actor will also be playing the title role in Macbeth and have a lead role in Assassin’s Creed, based on the video game of the same name. Looks like Fassbender will be busy for a long time to come. And really, who would complain about that?

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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