Before he hits the promotional trail for his expected mega-blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past next month, Michael Fassbender has been doing some duty for a highly regarded indie film he shot last year called Frank.
The movie, directed by Irishman Lenny Abrahamson and co-starring Domhnall Gleesson (Brendan’s boy), is about the real-life British musician Chris Sievey, also known as Frank Sidebottom, his persona who wore a huge, cartoonish head over his real one. He was actually quite a popular cult character in the U.K. prior to Sievey’s death in 2010.
Fassbender landed the role of the ultra-eccentric Frank, and shot the film with the huge mask over his head. He found it a refreshing change, once he got used to having to constantly wear the contraption.
"It was kind of weird in the beginning, the way it sits on your head. You feel a little bit vulnerable because you've not much peripheral vision. You can only see straight in front of you. You can't hear that well either. But it's quite liberating as well, in the way that masks are. It's amazing how many emotions that face manages to convey,” he told the U.K. Guardian.
The multi-talented Irish/German actor also gets a chance to show some musical chops in the film, which co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal. Fassbender sings and plays guitar, which reminded him of the time he had a makeshift group while growing up in Co. Kerry.
"It was just me and another guy on guitar. We could never find a drummer or a bass player. We never even got as far as having a name. We were both called Michael so we could have been Michael and Michael,” Fass recalled.
The film had its Irish premiere last week, and the actor brought a special date – his father Josef. The Fassbenders bedded down in the Merrion Hotel during their brief stay in the Irish capital.
Frank was also unveiled in London as part of the Sundance London Festival. It premiered at the Sundance Festival in Utah in January and got pretty decent reviews.
Look for it to bow in theaters across the country on August 22, well after the fuss over X-Men has passed.