He’s the talented Irish actor whose meteoric rise to fame and conveyor belt of critically-acclaimed movies have firmly established him as a genuine Hollywood A-lister. However, Michael Fassbender has admitted he might never had made it as an actor, but for a visit to the men’s room almost 20 years ago when he was waiting to be called in for an audition.
Having already been rejected from two acting schools, the then-19-year-old visited the gents, as he nervously waited to be called for an audition at another college, The Drama Centre London.
And he attributed a mysterious piece of graffiti he spotted on the bathroom wall with helping him through his audition and winning a place at the college.
He recalled: "I went to the urinal and as I was urinating, I saw that someone had written, 'Hi Cookie!' on the wall. Those words were starting at me, as I stood there.
"I had just finished playing the Cook in a production of [late playwright Bertolt Brecht's] 'Mother Courage,' and I had done it with a Scottish accent."
Fassbender said the graffiti inspired him to alter the delivery of the monologue he had meticulously prepared for the audition and instead perform it in a Scottish accent.
He said "I haven't thought about that for years and years, I'm not saying what I saw was a sign or anything. But maybe I did sort of take it that way, and that helped me."
However, in an interview with the New York Times magazine, the 38-year-old said he endured another ten years of rejections, making ends meet by bartending before his big breakthrough came in his acclaimed role as hunger striker Bobby Sands in 2007's multi-award-winning 'Hunger.'
He recalled "I enjoyed the bar. But, God, I really, really, really wanted to act."
Fassbender, whose latest starring roles are in the Danny Boyle directed biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and a film adaptation of "Macbeth," also attributes his acting versatility to his sense of being an outsider in Killarney, Co. Kerry, as a child of a German father and Irish mother.
Director Steve McQueen, who teamed up with Fassbender in 'Hunger.' 'Shame' and, most recently, '12 Years a Slave,' said of the actor: "Look, he wasn't a McQueen! Or an O'Reilly. He was a Fassbender. He was the odd one out. I think that's an important part of who he is.”