Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fassbender and Mcqueen Push Each Other's Buttons Again with 'Shame'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fassbender and Mcqueen Push Each Other's Buttons Again with 'Shame'

Article excerpt

Mick Jagger has his Keith Richards and Steven Tyler his Joe Perry.

Their movie equivalent? Steve McQueen, the British artist turned filmmaker, and his muse, Michael Fassbender.

"It really is like making music together," says Mr. Fassbender. "There's not much dialogue. We seem to be on the same wavelength. And at the center of it all is trust."

It isn't every director an actor would lose most of his body weight for, but Mr. Fassbender took on true emaciation for Mr. McQueen's "Hunger," back in 2008.

And it isn't every filmmaker an actor would get utterly naked for -- physically and psychologically, in their new film "Shame," which is scheduled to open in the Pittsburgh area Friday.

"When you're moving in the dark, trying to find your way, you've got to be doing it with somebody you trust, totally," Mr. Fassbender said.

"I had to go to some ugly places with 'Shame.' But I believed in the character and the director."

Both Mr. Fassbender and Mr. McQueen, 42, were relative unknowns when the experimental "art" filmmaker cast Mr. Fassbender in "Hunger." That acclaimed drama put them both on the map. And as Mr. Fassbender's career has exploded, he continues to find time between mainstream films to work with Mr. McQueen.

"It's a true collaboration, the way we work together," Mr. McQueen says. "We work fast. We surprise each other and challenge each other."

Before "X-Men: First Class," before Mr. Fassbender's star turns in "Jane Eyre" or "Inglourious Basterds," he and Mr. McQueen made noise with "Hunger," a scorching, hard-to-watch but little seen film about IRA hunger strikers.

"Shame" is about sexual addiction and is almost as difficult to watch -- sex and sexuality at their ugliest and most off-putting. …

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