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Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender (born 2 April 1977) is a German-born Irish actor. He is best known for playing Lt. Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Magneto in the superhero blockbuster X-Men: First Class (2011). His other credits include the 2009 film Fish Tank, the 2011 Jane Eyre adaptation, the upcoming 2011 David Cronenberg film A Dangerous Method, in which he plays psychologist Carl Jung, as well as the acclaimed Steve McQueen directed movies Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011), the more recent of which won him a best actor award at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. He will star in the upcoming Ridley Scott film, Prometheus (2012).

Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, West Germany (now Germany). His mother, Adele, is Northern Irish and a native of Larne, County Antrim, and his father, Josef Fassbender, is German. According to Fassbender's "family lore", his mother is the great-great-niece of Michael Collins, an Irish leader during the War of Independence. When he was two years old, his parents moved to Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, where they ran West End House, a restaurant, and where his father worked as a chef. Fassbender was raised Catholic and served as an altar boy. He attended St. Brendan's, Killarney (The Sem) and the Drama Centre in North London. Shifting between British films and American films, Fassbender currently resides in London, UK, while making career-related visits to Los Angeles, California.

Fassbender first broke into American mainstream consciousness with a memorable role as Stelios in the 2006 film 300 directed by Zack Snyder.
In preparation for his role as Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoner Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen's 2008 film Hunger, Fassbender underwent a crash diet that restricted him to 600 calories a day. He received the British Independent Film Award for his performance.

One year after his success at the Cannes Film Festival with Hunger, he appeared in two films. First was Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, in which he played the British officer Lieutenant Archie Hicox. The other film was Fish Tank directed by Andrea Arnold. Both were critically acclaimed and Fassbender's work in them also well received.

Starting a period when his "star status has risen exponentially" according to one observer, in 2010, Fassbender appeared in Jonah Hex and filmed Haywire, (previously titled Knockout.) He also portrayed Quintus Dias in Neil Marshall's War-Thriller-Drama film Centurion. and was cast as 'Richard Wirth' in the Joel Schumacher film Blood Creek alongside Dominic Purcell. Joel Schumacher signed to direct Blood Creek, the horror movie for Gold Circle and Lionsgate. The story centers on a West Virginia man who comes to terms with his moral qualms and helps his brother wipe out a family that had been protecting a Nazi occultist and who had kept his brother captive for him to feed off for years.

Fassbender played Edward Rochester in the 2011 film Jane Eyre, featuring Mia Wasikowska in the title role, with Cary Fukunaga directing.

Fassbender portrayed Magneto in the superhero blockbuster X-Men: First Class, the prequel to X-Men. Set in 1962, it focused on the friendship between Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) and Magneto and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The film was released on 3 June 2011 to general acclaim and financial success and promoted Fassbender to being more of a popular movie star.

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