The past few months have certainly been a whirlwind for Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender. Fresh from all the Oscar hype – which didn’t translate into reality in the form of a nomination – for his full frontal nudity in Shame last year, Fassbender is now on the roller-coaster of promotion for Prometheus, one of this summer’s anticipated blockbuster set to open on June 8.
Fassbender is on the cover of the new GQ magazine, and in the accompanying interview he comes across as an unaffected, regular guy who chooses to embrace his success rather than complain about the media scrutiny that goes along with it.
“I take my work seriously but I can't take myself too seriously. I'm in such a crazy privileged position—s***, this is the pinnacle of the dream when I was 17. Nobody wants to hear really how difficult it is,” he told the magazine.
He readily admits that the Shame Oscar snub did sting a bit, because he got caught up in all the hype. The film, rated NC-17, starred Fassbender as a sex addict, and he literally stripped bare for the part.
Speaking about the Oscar circus, he jokes, “They promised me paradise!" But instead, he wasn’t nominated and didn’t even attend the ceremony.
"At the beginning people (say), 'You're going to be going to the Oscars,' and you're like, 'Whatever, doesn't matter, don't think so.' But after a while it does penetrate. After a while you're like, 'Anyway, so I'm going to the Oscars...' " But it didn’t quite work out that way. "I thought I was going. And then I found out I wasn't and I was upset. I was very upset by it. The first reaction was, 'What the f***?’
"It's a vanity thing. It does become important to you. And it shouldn't."
Though he didn’t collect an Oscar for Shame, he did acquire a girlfriend. Fassbender says he started seeing his co-star Nicole Beharie after filming ended.
“We’re trying to see each other as often as possible," says Fassbender, who lives in a small apartment in East London while she resides in New York.
"Nothing happened while we were filming. We started talking more on the promotion thing. So, yeah, it just sort of unfolded like that."
Fassbender, 35, who was born in Germany to an Irish mother and raised in Killarney, Co. Kerry, says his dad keeps him up to speed with gossip because he follows his son’s activities – real and imagined -- on Google Alert.
Fassbender tells one funny story about his dad relaying a tabloid story about a fan vomiting on his shoes.
"My dad was like, "What's this about some fan vomiting on your shoes?'” Fassbender said.
"I wasn't there for it. It just didn't happen. What are you going to do?"
Here, check out the trailer for Fassbender's upcoming film 'Prometheus':