Michael Fassbender

Active - 2004 - Present  |   Born - Apr 2, 1977 in Heidelberg, West Germany  |   Genres - Drama, Action, Horror

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German-born, Irish-raised actor Michael Fassbender first caught many viewers' attention with the role of Sergeant Burton Pat on the HBO-produced WWII series Band of Brothers in 2001. He would make waves again with roles on a number of popular British TV series, like Murphy's Law and Hex, but Fassbender would ingrain himself in the minds of American audiences when he was cast in the role of Spartan warrior Stelios in the 2006 blockbuster 300, even uttering the iconic line "Then we will fight in the shade." Fassbender would continue to find exciting roles in film, appearing in movies like the critically acclaimed Hunger, and Quentin Tarantino's World War II epic Inglourious Basterds. He quickly became one of the most sought-after and respected young actors in the business earning rave reviews in 2011 for his work as a sex-addict in Shame, and that same year played Magneto in the successful X-Men prequel. The next year he continued to work with revered directors, playing an assassin in Steven Soderbergh's Haywire, and landing a lead role in Ridley Scott's sci-fi summer film Prometheus.

In 2013, he re-teamed with his Hunger and Shame director Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, earning Fassbender his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actor. He reprised his role of Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014. The following year, he tackled "the Scottish play," playing Lord Macbeth opposite Marion Cotillard's Lady Macbeth, and earned rave reviews (and a second Oscar nomination) playing Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

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Factsheet

  • Born in West Germany to an Irish mother and a German father; moved with his parents at age 2 to Killarney, Ireland.
  • Acted in a Killarney theater group, and directed his own stage adaptation of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in a nightclub before leaving for drama school in London at age 18.
  • Worked in bars and in a London warehouse before being cast in the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.
  • According to his maternal grandfather, his mother is the great-great niece of Irish revolutionary figure Michael Collins; Fassbender played Collins on-stage in the 2006 play Allegiance.
  • Lost more than 30 pounds to play Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in the 2008 film Hunger; the film also marked his first time working with frequent collaborator, director Steve McQueen.