Michael Fassbender on what it takes to become a master assassin
FROM making daunting 40m leaps look easy to nailing the air guitar challenge on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, London-based Michael Fassbender has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. His latest flick, Assassin’s Creed, the adaptation of the video game, marks his debut as a producer and sees the 39-year-old playing dual roles connected by lineage — one, a modern-day criminal rescued from execution, and the other, an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition. The Steve Jobs actor, who recently opened up about his relationship with his Light Between Oceans co-star Alicia Vikander, will also be seen in Terrence Malick’s Weightless and the much-awaited Prometheus sequel — Alien: Covenant come 2017. While the Irish-German actor has decided to take a long break from acting now, he speaks about working again with former colleagues, finally playing the popular game and the nuances of becoming an assassin.
Have you picked up the games since signing on?
Of course, I did, but I’m not very good. [Laughs.] Hopefully, we’re not going to let any fans of the games down, because the great thing about gamers is that they have a passion for it.
Is it interesting to play two characters in one movie who have this odd genetic connection?
It is. Aguilar is part of a family and he belongs to, believes in and serves the Creed. In contrast, Cal is somebody who’s much more of a drifter, really. He’s fairly underprivileged and doesn’t really believe in much. It’s with his journey, through Aguilar, that he starts to learn where he comes from and that he does belong to something.
Tell us about your connections with the crew.
It’s cool because Justin, my Macbeth director, and
I have a great shorthand. Adam Arkapaw, his cinematographer, is fantastic and he’s a real artist. The two of them have their own shorthand, and I have one with Marion [Cotillard] also, as we’ve worked together previously. I think Justin’s got really good taste. Together, he and Adam make such bold choices, and they follow through a very strong vision.
How much work went into moulding Aguilar’s personality?
It was all about keeping it as simple as possible with the differences between Aguilar and Cal. The costume designer, Sammy [Sheldon-Differ] did amazing work. The look we decided on involved long hair, beard, all the classics. [Laughs.] And some contact lenses to give me brown eyes instead of blue. The costumes were an added element, like a uniform.
Releases on December 30.
Marion Cottilard on stunts in the film
We could have shot it all in a parking lot and made it CGI-heavy, but I thought what was really interesting was how we could make the audience feel as though that’s possible. That these assassins in real-life can jump between buildings made us feel as though we had some of the best parkour guys and fight choreographers in, and we’re doing it all for real.
— Team Indulge