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Top 10 Michael Fassbender Performances

VO: Richard Bush
Written by JJ Heaton From Shakespeare to sex addiction, this guy can do it all. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Michael Fassbender Performances. An Irish actor who was born in Germany and spent large parts of his early career in the UK, for this list we’re celebrating Michael Fassbender’s finest work. And while he isn’t actually British himself, he has spent a lot of his life in the UK, and in between the blockbusters he has featured in some stellar British movies. Special thanks to our users jkellis, TheDude, Jedimperial96, Deathmatch1959, perryhigh, Shehab Essam, Stephen-616, Iron2Man911, tandee82, Erica Jones, Jordan Collins, David Portilla, thesunflowerfield, Martin Curran, Hugh G Rection, James Ward and Cfp3157 for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Michael Fassbender Performances


From Shakespeare to sex addiction, this guy can do it all. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Michael Fassbender Performances.

An Irish actor who was born in Germany and spent large parts of his early career in the UK, for this list we’re celebrating Michael Fassbender’s finest work. And while he isn’t actually British himself, he has spent a lot of his life in the UK, and in between the blockbusters he has featured in some stellar British movies.

#10: David
“Prometheus” (2012)

The “Alien” franchise has a proud history of android characters, and Fassbender lived up to the lineage as David. Channelling another Ridley Scott classic, “Blade Runner”, but adding a Peter O’Toole-inspired look and a kinda creepy robotic manner, David was probably the best thing about the “Prometheus” prequel. Fassbender revisited the role for 2017’s “Alien: Covenant”, playing David as well as Walter, and becoming a central figure in the space-based epic. But can the crew trust him?

#9: Frank
“Frank” (2014)

By 2014, Fassbender’s fame and talent had reached such heights that he could star in a film where his face is covered for almost the entirety. An oddball dramedy from Lenny Abrahamson, “Frank” sees Fassbender play an eccentric but cognitively questionable frontman for an experimental band. The character is charming and fascinating but also unpredictable, and Fassbender flies through most of the movie without relying on actual facial expressions. Pretty impressive, hey?

#8: Conor O’Reily
“Fish Tank” (2009)

This drama from acclaimed director Andrea Arnold helped to launch Fassbender into the mainstream, and it is easy to see why. Playing Conor, a manipulative and unnerving character who develops a disturbing relationship with his partner’s young daughter, he becomes an increasingly threatening presence throughout the film. Switching between effortless charm, selfish control and ruthless violence, Fassbender shows how he can toy with emotions. It’s a deeply unsettling but unforgettable performance.

#7: Lt. Archie Hicox
“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)

Fassbender takes a small role in this Tarantino World War Two flick, but leaves a lasting impression in one of the movie’s most memorable sequences. As an undercover Brit working with the titular Basterds, Hicox engages in one of the most intense drinking games ever attempted - and Fassbender gets to flex the fact that he speaks fluent German. It’s an unconventional way to infiltrate the enemy, as he finds himself sharing a scotch with his target. Seconds later, and all hell breaks loose.

#6: Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
“X-Men” Franchise (2011-)

Bringing to life an iconic comic book character, especially one previously played by Ian McKellen, might’ve been a daunting task. But Fassbender makes Magneto all his own. Delving into the character’s history as a Holocaust survivor, “X-Men: First Class” gives context to Erik’s story, creating some cause for sympathy. And Magneto’s development is a primary drive for the subsequent “X-Men” movies, which explore his time as a revolutionary leader, and his impossible attempts to live a normal life.

#5: Macbeth
“Macbeth” (2015)

Showcasing his Shakespearian talents as the duplicitous nobleman-turned-king, Fassbender once again toes the fine line between the sympathetic and the thoroughly unlikable, as the eponymous Macbeth. In a performance supremely complemented by Marion Cotillard, and as part of an adaptation which was heaped with critical praise, the actor also manages the often-difficult task of transferring the Bard’s text to the big screen, nailing even the longest and most complex monologues. It’ll give you goosebumps, this.

#4: Bobby Sands
“Hunger” (2008)

Fassbender has worked under director Steve McQueen on multiple occasions, but their first film together must have been the most taxing for the actor. Playing an imprisoned IRA member who goes on hunger strike, Fassbender transformed his body with a strict diet and exercise regime, to achieve the skeletal look we see. Though the film has a lower profile than his other McQueen movies, “Hunger” proves Fassbender’s dedication to his craft, even before he achieved worldwide fame. Let no one question this guy’s commitment.

#3: Edwin Epps
“12 Years a Slave” (2013)

A role which bagged Fassbender his first Oscar nomination, here he brings out all the worst and ugliest parts of human history and character. As a slave owner with a violent attitude, who takes disturbing satisfaction in his brutal behaviour, Edwin Epps is a stand-out villain and a stark reminder of a shameful period in American history. “12 Years a Slave” can be very difficult to watch at times, not least when Fassbender’s on the screen - he simply emanates evil.

#2: Steve Jobs
“Steve Jobs” (2015)

Playing a modern day icon and one of the most influential tech pioneers of recent times, Fassbender faced massive pressure to get this role right. Working from Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and under the directorship of Danny Boyle, he delivered a stellar performance as Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. Playing Jobs through three crucial stages in his career, the movie shines light on all aspects of the man’s legacy, exploring both his professional pursuits and personal life. And Fassbender shoulders it all with style.

#1: Brandon Sullivan
“Shame” (2011)

We’ve already seen Fassbender portray a starving protester and a slave owner for Steve McQueen; for today’s top spot he plays a sex addict. In another exceptionally hard-hitting role, Fassbender delves deep into the warped psyche of his character, and dares to bare all to give an authentic insight into Brandon’s world. The actor pulls no punches in this performance, which includes several graphic sex scenes, and was acknowledged during awards season, with well-earned BAFTA and Golden globe nominations.
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