Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen in Toronto on Sept. 6. (Terry Rice/WireImage)
He may have the reputation for being a ladies' man, but Michael Fassbender's true love is Steve McQueen. The 36-year-old Irish actor stars in McQueen's TIFF film to beat, "12 Years a Slave" -- but the historical drama, which premiered on Friday, is only the latest installment in a collaboration that started five years ago.
Back in 2008, McQueen met Fassbender during an audition for his first full-length film, "Hunger." Funnily enough, the director didn't like him initially. "When I first saw him, I thought he was a bit cocky," McQueen said.
After prompting by his producer and the casting director, McQueen met with Fassbender again, and said the duo "just clicked."
Fassbender and McQueen in Cannes in 2008. (Tony Barson Archive/WireImage)
Their collaboration paid off, and the film went on to win the Camera d'Or at Cannes and landed Fassbender a role in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," which helped launch his move onto the Hollywood the A-list. But he did not forget McQueen.
Fassbender and McQueen promote "Shame" in Venice in 2011.
In 2011, Fassbender and the British filmmaker reconnected to work on the sex addiction drama "Shame," which McQueen first mentioned to the actor around the time of "Hunger." And it turned out that Fassbender more than measured up for the role of Brandon, a New Yorker unable to get to grips with his sex life. Though the reviews for the film were mixed, Fassbender found himself being touted as the most sought-after sex symbol in Hollywood.
Despite his subsequent high-profile roles in "Prometheus," "Haywire" and an upcomming Terrence Malick project, Fassbender found himself coming back to McQueen last year when the director was casting "12 Years a Slave." Starring alongside the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, Fassbender plays Edwin Epps, a vicious plantation owner who tortures a kidnapped slave in the 19th century.
The film has been compared to "Schindler's List," and though it's not anywhere near the start of Fassbender and McQueen's beautiful friendship, it's certainly a poignant addition to their epic bromance.
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