Monday, December 29, 2008

The Road to Supporting Michael Fassbender

At the beginning of 2008, it marked a one year passing of my being a new fan of German/Irish actor, Michael Fassbender. And as this year is coming to a close, I am amused by my transition into becoming a bigger fan of his largely due to being exposed to more of his work and seeing just how versatile and talented Michael really is. Previously, I was part of a fandom where I was one of legions who celebrated a celebrity who was big on looking good, but did not have the corresponding talent. At first, who cares about ‘talent’, he’s just cute and the movies he was in were fun to watch. But after several years of fun fawning, it gets rather old and dull and you are left looking at someone who is void of talent and really full of himself, and add in the factor that the fandom was not in healthy condition – lots of fighting, backstabbing, and bitching, you tire of the crap and remove yourself from it all.

However, once you become a part of a fandom, a part of you enjoys the excitement of sharing information and a fondness for an entertainer and therefore, you are receptive to getting involved in a new fandom when fate allows. When I first saw 300 in the theaters, I went on the net to find out info on Tom Wisdom and then Michael Fassbender, but I didn’t find anything. So, I just went on reflecting upon the film and hoping one day on a Google search, I would find something about these guys, or other work they were in. By the summer of 2007, I was starting to find little bits and pieces here and there, but still nothing solid. That particular year was very difficult for me in dealing with a horrible job, debilitating emotional and physical stress from said job, a severe medical problem, and my sister Suzy’s cancer came back. At this pivotal time, it would have been nice to have a fandom to use as an escape route from the pains of the real world, but with my previous fandom on life support and my losing complete interest, I didn’t have anything fun to focus my attention on to.

Subsequently in October 2007, I did stumble upon the Michael Fassbender Online community where they were just a few months old, still very new, but been around long enough to provide a wealth of information on Michael that I did not have the time and was not able to find myself. I dived in head first and enjoyed learning more about a talented young actor that was still low on the radar. It was refreshing finding out stuff about him without dealing with the static and bullshit of the Hollywood PR machine. What you heard about Michael was raw and real, just like it should be, not sanitized or censored. And in subscribing to the ideology of things being raw and real in regards to Michael, that is why I am using that image of him smoking along the left hand side of the page – that’s Michael being real, being himself. I don’t like smoking – it’s a nasty dangerous habit, but you know what, for some reason, he makes smoking look dead sexy, and you have to have the rawest form of sex appeal to accomplish that!

So at the end of 2007, at the height of a short-term medical leave, I learned enough about Michael Fassbender that convinced me that he is a guy to watch and support, but a bit more on the sideline this time as I was terribly burned from my experience in the last fandom. Because Michael is still a bit unknown, actually has talent, and is charismatic and gorgeous, I had hopes to maintain interest in this man and root for him the best way I could. Fast forward a few months into 2008, life took a priority and I took a step back from the Fassy fandom, as a wise person would do. And because of that, I was able to be with my sister Suzy before she passed, perform my jobs at the best of my abilities, and take care of myself and my family. The Fassy fandom will be there when I felt like getting back into the swing of things. Meanwhile at MFO, the first annual FassyCon was set to take place in Ireland in September, but I knew as early as late spring that I was going to try to attend the Toronto Int’l Film Festival for the 5th year in a row, and then go to London in November. So it was financially and logistically impossible to go to Ireland too. I figured in the back of my mind that a film like Hunger was prime fare for TIFF, so I just waited for confirmation on that.

However, as planned, I was able to attend TIFF, but even as I was making arrangements to go, it was extremely difficult getting mentally motivated to go because I was deeply mourning over Suzy and I work two jobs and it was a little tricky trying to juggle many things at once. But when I realized that Michael Fassbender was actually going to be there for the screening of Hunger; that put a fire under my butt to really get my act together and attend. I have been fancying this dude for over a year now, and it would be the cherry on top if I were able to see him in the flesh, just to SEE him. But as fate allowed, due to the hard work of one fan contacting the right people, all the MFO girls who were able to attend TIFF got to meet Michael. Those few moments with him not only brought a genuine smile to my face and happiness, but it was a transforming moment for me as a fan because I actually got to meet a really charming, polite, and professional actor who is absolutely deserving of all the praise he gets.

After the screening of Hunger and the Q&A with Michael and Steve McQueen, I left that theater, and Toronto the following day committed to doing my little part in the fandom in celebrating his work and career. Since I love writing so much, it was natural for me to create Fassinating Fassbender just days after meeting him in Toronto. And now four months later, it is coming along pretty well. I find myself tweaking the blog regularly so that it can be fresh and appealing to visitors, and the timing could not be more vital as Michael stands a chance to be nominated for an Academy Award in January for his work in Hunger as Bobby Sands. Additionally, and probably more realistic, chances are extremely high that Michael will be nominated for the British equivalent of Oscar, a BAFTA next month too, and he could very well win it. So when the nominations are announced in just a few weeks for the BAFTAs and Oscars, if Michael’s name is on one or both for Best Actor, his name will be Googled like crazy and people will find their way to MFO and FF to find out who this guy is, because no matter how much we think we know about Michael, there are millions upon millions of film lovers and celebrity watchers who don’t know a thing about Michael Fassbender.

Along with my participation at Gold Derby and Awards Daily, I’m doing my little part in my signature lines there to push and promote Michael in a way that a fan could and should. It’s so unfortunate that IFC Films have been nonchalant in their promotion and support for Michael, it’s embarrassing even. Completely careless and mindboggling! So when people snip at me that this Michael guy doesn’t stand a chance to be nominated for an Oscar, maybe that’s true in the traditional sense since IFC Films dropped the ball and isn’t bothering with an FYC ad for Hunger, and because Michael is a legitimate contender, you really can’t blame me for rallying for him at those Oscar forums. I am doing what every other fan at those forums are doing: Promoting their favorite film and actor/actress, plain and simple.

So, there you have it, in a nutshell, my path down Fassbender Avenue to this point. It really is a great time to be a fan of Michael as he’s really just getting started in his career. He was so busy in 2008, and 2009 will be even more busier and he will gain more recognition, which basically, is what any good actor deserves. Keep your eyes and ears open regarding Michael Fassbender, and watch this space! Better yet, bookmark this blog!

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