Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard In Justin Kurzel’s ‘Macbeth’

From my copy of Empire Magazine’s June 2014 Issue

Michael Fassbender At The Premiere of ‘Frank’ - Light House Cinema, Dublin

Michael Fassbender Arrives At His Dublin Hotel With His Father For The ‘Frank’ Premiere

Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy To Attend The London ‘DoFP’ Premiere 

Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy To Attend The London ‘DoFP’ Premiere 

Michael Fassbender At The Premiere of ‘Frank’ At Light House Cinema, Dublin

(x), (x), (x), (x)

Michael Fassbender On The Late Late Show

I don’t have RTÉ1 but if you do:

"This week’s Late Late Show has one stellar line-up.

The show will feature an interview with Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Lenny Abramson in which the trio will be discussing their new movie FrankTune in tomorrow (Friday) night at 9.35pm on RTÉ1.” (x)

CAN’T MAKE IT TO A ‘DoFP’ PREMIERE?

Fear not. Yahoo! will live-stream the global premiere of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ from New York on May 10th and also from the London premiere on May 12th. So while I’m you’re crying that you’re not there, you can watch and pretend that you are. 

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Michael Fassbender Knows He’s Aesthetically Superior To Every Damn Body, Doesn’t He?

Screen Shots I Made And Edited of His Details Shoot With James (x)

Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy Using Their Mutant Powers of Being Hot As All Fuck 

Screen Shots I Made And Edited of Fassbender & McAvoy’s Details Shoot (x)

Epic Bromance - Erik & Charles As Their Other Alter Egos, Michael & James

Screen Shots I Made And Edited of Fassbender & McAvoy’s Details Shoot (x)

Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy - Details Magazine Behind The Scenes

fuuuuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! so beautiful. death by fassbender.

Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman & James McAvoy Announce That They And The ‘DoFP’ Cast Are Dividing Up To Visit Major Cities All Over The World For Various ‘X-Men: DoFP’ Premieres. 

So London, Moscow, Singapore, São Paoulo, Beijing, Melbourne Y Nueva York, Get Ready For The ‘X-Men Experience’.

Michael Fassbender On His ‘Macbeth’

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Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard stand respectfully still as the Thane of Cawdor is anointed king. Three times the assembled bishops, priests noblemen and soldiers cry out: “Hail, Macbeth!” Fassbender refers to his screen wife as ‘Lady M’, and together, they make as powerful a screen couple as I’ve observed in many years.

As I sit with director Justin Kurzel and watch the scene he’s shooting at Ely Cathedral (standing in for Dunsinane Castle), the camera picks out Fassbender’s eyes, and they give a hint of Macbeth’s inner torment.

"He’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder," Fassbender told me later. "It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head. This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth’s days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies. He’s having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace."

Macbeth and his Lady M had also, the actor and director point out, lost a child. ”He’d been away fighting and when he returns, we see it’s a relationship that’s broken down. They lost a child, and there wasn’t time for them to grieve because he’s been away campaigning.” However, the couple do reconnect. “Lady M is desperate for that reconnection, and briefly they do. And, of course, the doorway has been opened to darkness and to violence,” Fassbender said.

After Duncan is murdered, Lady M hopes that this ‘fantastical deed, this terrible deed, this extraordinary deed of killing a king will be something that will bond them together’. But once the blood is spilled, it leads to more and more killings. ”He’s wary of doing it,” Fassbender said, “but Lady M bolsters him, and tells him to garner his strength.”

The actor, last seen playing a brutal plantation owner in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, will be back on screen next month as Magneto in the next X-Men movie: Days Of Future Past. Interestingly, his X-Men co-star James McAvoy played Macbeth in the West End last year — and gave Fassbender some literature and advice on playing the Thane.

So, clearly, this is not just any old Macbeth. For starters, the key producers — See-Saw Films — were behind Oscar-winning The King’s Speech. Macbeth and King’s Speech producer Iain Canning noted that they also filmed King George VI’s coronation scenes at Ely, which in that case doubled for Westminster Abbey (though, on the day I visited, the light shining through the stained glass windows was more stunning than anything I’d ever noticed at Westminster).

Also, the hiring of Kurzel was crucial. He and his creative team travelled extensively around the Highlands to find locations that would be as authentic as possible. The Australian-born film-maker wanted a rugged-looking movie. The soldiers’ faces are painted the colours of their clans and designers created special weaves for kilts.

Kurzel and Canning were adamant about not moving the story to a modern setting. “The story of Macbeth is eternally pertinent,” Canning insisted. The Bard’s verse remains, too, though it has been edited. “There’s a vibrancy and intelligence to the script,” Fassbender observed.

He explained that the cast speak with Scottish accents — all apart from Lady M, the Oscar-winning French actress Ms Cotillard. “We felt it would be unreasonable for her to put on a Scottish accent. It would not be unreasonable to presume that her character spent time in the French court.”

I asked how he was approaching the psychology of Macbeth. How evil was he? “I always have a problem with that word,” Fassbender said sharply. “It never gives me any information, or helps me in any way. I like to find a character’s motivation. I don’t think Macbeth is evil. I think he’s damaged. When we meet him, he’s a man who’s as good as his circumstances will allow. He serves his king loyally and looks after his soldiers.”

And what about Edwin Epps, his character in 12 Years? Surely he was evil? “You put it down to insecurity, and fears — unless of course you’re dealing with a total sociopath. Evil is a cloudy word, and something that’s not going to inform me to play the character in any other way than pantomime.”

Audiences will be able to judge for themselves when StudioCanal releases Macbeth in the UK early  in 2015.

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Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard In Stills From Justin Kurzel’s ‘Macbeth’

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