Michael Fassbender is about to have his big moment. Once a lauded television and indie film actor, the Irishman has graduated to working with auteurs like Quentin Tarantino (in “Inglourious Basterds”) and is rumored to be the next James Bond. But Fassbender’s first big mainstream role will be with this weekend’s “X-Men: First Class,” which depicts the inception of the Marvel heroes (and baddies), set in the 1960s. The charming 34-year-old makes for one sexy sometimes-villain Magneto. He explained to us his deep powers of concentration and his current project, “Prometheus.”
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Being honest, I reckon flying would have to be up there just because it’s one thing I can’t do — damn it — much to my dismay, because when I was younger I did believe I was Superman. I’ve just come to terms with this in the last year that I’m not. But seriously when I was five years old, I had a Superman suit and I used to practice flying. I was convinced I would be able to fly. So I would like to be able to fly and I would like to have a tail as well.
Oh, for what purpose?
I think it’s kind of kinky. Kidding. I like the idea of being able to balance on things and they also look quite nice, don’t they? They’re aesthetically pleasing. I could be drinking a milkshake independently now with my hands free.
Did you talk to Ian McKellen about playing Magneto?
The thing is, I was thinking to myself, “Oh s—t, the fans are not going to be happy because [McKellen], I think, goes down as one of the number one villains in all superhero films. It was a bit stupid of me to go against the grain in that respect. But then I thought, I’d bring something fresh. I want to make bold choices. Hopefully there would be something new and still have the quality that people recognize of Magneto for the fans.
How many X-Men sequels are you contracted for?
Oh they own me, dude. They’ve got me for two options so they definitely have the option to use me and to be honest with you, I’d be very excited to continue the journey with it. James [McAvoy] and I have been talking about it over the last few days, about where we could go with the next one. We definitely want to be involved from the ground floor up on that. I think that’s going to be very important if there is a sequel.
Could you see yourself in the might-be sequels, continuing to walk the line between good guy and bad guy?
As much as I can, for sure. It’s far more interesting and it happens like that in the comic books. There’s a respect that continues between these two characters that I think is very interesting.
Metro had asked you before about working with green screens, but a lot of your performance demands a lot of intense cringing, because you move things with your mind…
Constipation, yes. I know, I was watching it last night thinking, “God, really. Just get on with it, man. Eat some prunes.” It’s like, how do you go about doing stuff like that? I didn’t really know. What I was interested in doing here was that he doesn’t really know the full effect of his powers, so it’s all a learning process and it is a bit messy. And then by the second one, I think it’ll be a lot more sort of like yoga. He’ll be a lot more centered and will have more control of his moves. But yeah, there were a few people laughing in the theater last night. I was like, “shut up, all right? Give me a break, okay? You try f—king lifting a submarine, smart ass.”
Regarding “Prometheus,” this was rumored to be an alien prequel but that has not been confirmed. Any comment?
Hmm shall I cause controversy? Um, no. The thing is, it’s not a prequel. It definitely is separate. It is a separate story, but there are threads that connect the stories.
Is Prometheus an alien?
Well Prometheus is basically a Greek god that stole fire from the gods so that he could give humans equal footing with them. And then he got sort of tied up to a tree or rock and then an eagle comes down and eats his liver each day and it regrows and he eats it, regrows so figure it out. How can you tie that into space?