Magneto in love
Michael Fassbender's mutant character has a relationship before joining the dark side
It's 6pm in Sydney, and Michael Fassbender relaxes in front of the camera, beer in hand, after a day of shooting sci-fi flick Alien: Covenant, the sequel to 2012's Prometheus which sees him reprise his role as android David.
We are on Skype with the Oscar-nominated 39-year-old German-Irish actor's latest movie X-Men: Apocalypse from London's Claridges Hotel, and he flashes that movie-star smile and raises the bottle in a toast.
In the movie, circumstances cause a vulnerable Magneto, with all his faith in humanity gone, to join the dark side led by Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse.
In this movie, you have a family life and we learn a bit more of Magneto's back story.
When I got the part, I started looking into the character where he met this girl in the concentration camp and they broke out and they fell in love and they had a family. Then the townspeople formed a mob and burnt down the house and he lost his family. I always thought that was a big deal in his story and why he became who he became.
So (writer-producer) Simon (Kinberg) and I were flying to Russia to open (2014's) X-Men: Days Of Future Past and we just started talking about that story and we were like, wouldn't it be cool to see Magneto in a family life and maybe the fact that he's hung up the cloak and the helmet, as it were, and he's under the radar and he's trying to live a normal life.
And let's say he works in a factory and he's working with metal but he's not using his power.
That seemed like quite a fun concept so then Simon just went off and wrote it.
And you had to do quite a bit of wire work this time?
I don't like spending time in a harness, if I'm being totally honest. It's pretty uncomfortable for the old private parts. And I'm not scared of heights, but I'm not crazy about them (either).
How did you all get along with the new cast members?
They're bringing some fresh blood in again and refining these characters that the fans love so well and sort of taking it back and rebooting them. The (original) X-Men cast (before us) that we were joining, they were so welcoming and supportive, and I guess we were just trying to hopefully do the same for the new guys.
One of the themes about the X-Men movies is about people feeling like outsiders. Did you ever feel like that growing up?
Yeah, absolutely, those years of going through puberty can be a kind of a confusing and insecure time. Music was my outlet, you know. Heavy metal primarily allowed me to sort of head-bang my troubles away. I felt like I had something that I could belong to in a way and then acting came after that.
Did you play an instrument?
I played pretty badly but also pretty intensely for two or three years probably, where I did have dreams of becoming a lead guitarist in a heavy metal band, but I wasn't good enough.