Michael Fassbender Refuses to Campaign For ’12 Years a Slave’ During Awards Season

12 years a slave

'I won't put myself through that kind of situation again' the actor says in new interview

We’re barely into awards season, but there’s little doubt on most minds that “12 Years a Slave,” helmer Steve McQueen’s horrific depiction of one of the worst moments in U.S. history, will finds its place on nomination ballots — and that includes possible recognition for Michael Fassbender’s work as a sinister slave owner.

To wit: Variety film critic Peter Debruge writes that this role’s “actorly transformation may be Fassbender’s most courageous yet, tapping into a place of righteous superiority that reminds just how scary such racism can be.”

But Fassbender seems to have worked nonstop since he broke out in films like Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 “Inglourious Basterds” and McQueen’s 2008 “Hunger” and he seems tired — so much so that he says in the November issue of GQ that campaigning for awards this year is “just not going to happen, because I’ll be in New Zealand. I’ll be on the other side of the world. You know, I get it. Everybody’s got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won’t put myself through that kind of situation again.”

It’s understandable that Fassbender, whose accolades include a Golden Globe nomination for 2011’s “Shame,” (also directed by McQueen) wouldn’t be interested in repeating the process a couple years later. But is it possible he is so good at this part that he need not campaign for nominations he’ll inevitably get — even if he may not want them? Or must he keep up this act a little longer?

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  1. Bella says:

    I absolutely love this man

  2. Glenn C. says:

    I agree with Alex S. It’s smart. Less can be more. Fassbender to me is right now one of the worlds greatest actors. No doubt. His performance in Shame was amazing. He raised the last X-Men film to a higher level because he was just in it. Can’t wait to see, The Counselor.

  3. Alex S says:

    I’d say this is a good way of campaigning, actually.

  4. clare says:

    Fassbender does NOT need an Oscar. He is already “prestige bait” without it.

  5. Jill says:

    Good for him! Campaigning should not be necessary, and the Oscars are increasingly losing credibility for rewarding lobbying (that’s what it is) rather than performance.

  6. Costap says:

    To the writer: Do you really need to say “refuses”? How about “declines” or just “won’t”? Wouldn’t it be fabulous if awards season could be less of a contest and regain some gracefulness?

  7. voter says:

    fuck campaigning. bring some purity back to the awards.

  8. Jennifer Lawrence campaigned brilliantly for her win on SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, so Michael Fassbender not being prepared to promote his work on 12 YEARS A SLAVE is understandable, perhaps, but unfortunate. This film needs all the buzz it can get!

  9. The Kingslayer says:

    The fact you have to campaign in order to be recognized for your performance is just as disgusting as his snub for Shame.

  10. After the egregious snub in 2011 for Shame, you cannot blame Fassbender. He has a healthy attitude. He doesn’t need to play the campaign game.

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